How are patients monitored in the immediate postoperative period following lung transplantation?

Updated: Aug 19, 2019
  • Author: Bryan A Whitson, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM  more...
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Answer

In the immediate postoperative period, the patient is monitored invasively with arterial, central venous, and Swan Ganz catheters. Chest radiographs are performed on a daily basis. Reperfusion injury is suggested by hypoxemia and diffuse infiltrates. A perfusion scan within the first week may provide additional assessment of the function of the allograft. Reperfusion injury is measured by calculating the PaO 2 -to-FiO 2 ratio. Usually, the greater the injury, the longer the time to extubation.

Routine immediate prophylaxis with antibiotics is performed. Patients with bronchiectasis or cystic fibrosis require antipseudomonal prophylaxis. Adequate pain control is important for aggressive chest physiotherapy and early rehabilitation of these individuals.


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