How is severe hypoxemia managed in atelectasis?

Updated: Oct 22, 2020
  • Author: Tarun Madappa, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Nader Kamangar, MD, FACP, FCCP, FCCM  more...
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Answer

Severe hypoxemia associated with severe respiratory distress should lead to intubation and mechanical support. Intubation not only provides oxygenation and ventilatory support, but also provides access for suctioning of the airways and facilitates performing bronchoscopy, if needed. The positive pressure ventilation and larger tidal volumes may help to re-expand collapsed lung segments.

Continuous positive airway pressure delivered via a nasal cannula or facemask may also be effective in improving oxygenation and re-expanding the collapsed lung. [13]


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