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Other Types of Respiratory Failure

By

Bhakti K. Patel

, MD, University of Chicago

Last full review/revision Mar 2020| Content last modified Mar 2020
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Effective means of preventing or treating atelectasis include

  • Incentive spirometry

  • Ensuring adequate analgesia for chest and abdominal incisions

  • Upright positioning

  • Early mobilization

Atelectasis caused by abdominal distention should be alleviated according to the cause (eg, nasogastric suction for excessive intraluminal air, paracentesis to evacuate tense ascites).

Hypoperfusion, regardless of cause, may result in respiratory failure through inadequate delivery of oxygen to respiratory muscles coupled with excess respiratory muscle load (eg, acidosis, sepsis). Mechanical ventilation is useful for diverting blood flow from overworked respiratory muscles to critical organs such as the brain, kidney, and gut.

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A nasopharyngeal airway is a component of preliminary upper airway management in patients with apnea or severe ventilatory failure. There are many indications for this procedure. However, placement of a nasopharyngeal airway can be contraindicated in patients who have which of the following characteristics? 
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