decreased aeration and infection?

  1. I was just curious to know how decreased aeration in the lungs can set the stage for infection. It seems as though I read about this every semester but never really understand the relationship between the two concepts. Thanks.
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    About nu570

    Joined: Mar '05; Posts: 12

    2 Comments

  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    Here's a very simple explanation: pain often keeps post-op patients from breathing deeply, but if they don't, the alveoli in the lungs tend to collapse (atelectasis), which causes the mucus produced by the lungs to just sit there, providing a nice warm growth medium for any 'bug' that just happens to be floating by. This is why we get people up and out of bed so soon after surgery, encourage use of incentive spirometers, and make sure they breathe deeply and cough on a regular basis while awake. It's also why we don't just give them Tylenol if they spike a temp (a low-grade fever---under 100 degrees---is fairly usual in the first 24 hours, but we don't want to see higher temps or hear crackles in the lungs at any time after a procedure)........we call the doctor right away.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edit by VivaLasViejas on Apr 17, '05
  4. by   nu570
    Quote from mjlrn97
    Here's a very simple explanation: pain often keeps post-op patients from breathing deeply, but if they don't, the alveoli in the lungs tend to collapse (atelectasis), which causes the mucus produced by the lungs to just sit there, providing a nice warm growth medium for any 'bug' that just happens to be floating by. This is why we get people up and out of bed so soon after surgery, encourage use of incentive spirometers, and make sure they breathe deeply and cough on a regular basis while awake. It's also why we don't just give them Tylenol if they spike a temp (a low-grade fever---under 100 degrees---is fairly usual in the first 24 hours, but we don't want to see higher temps or hear crackles in the lungs at any time after a procedure)........we call the doctor right away.

    Hope this helps.
    Thanks for responding. I understand the relationship b/t stagnant mucus and bacterial growth, but I thought that the pathogenesis of infection secondary to decreased aeration was different. Thanks for clearing this up.

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