Perhaps it is a thick mucus “plug” that causes your client’s Atelectasis. Maybe they inhaled a foreign object. If either one of these is true, your client could potentially recover when the blockage is removed.
Atelectasis can be caused by a tumor. The outcome depends on the nature of the tumor your client has.
It can also be the result of surgery, postoperative conditions and/or other complications. Depending on the prognosis, the Ateletasis may get better or not.
In order to make certain that your client is not subject to Atelectasis, when and if they are recovering from surgery, you need to ensure that they get repositioned frequently in their resting position. You will also have to encourage coughing and deep breathing every hour or two. Ordinarily you will be able to help your client with deep breathing exercises with the assisted breathing device given by the hospital.
If your client was or is a smoker, they have a higher risk of developing Atelectasis after surgery. If currently a smoker preparing for surgery, you must encourage them to stop smoking six to eight weeks before surgery can help reduce the risk.
It is also very important to encourage your client to increase their fluid intake if they happen to contract a respiratory illness or after surgery. The fluids help your client’s lung secretions to stay loose. You should keep a humidifier running, too. Your client’s respiratory therapist or physical therapist can help you learn postural drainage techniques to help with the Atelectasis.
So, in order to help your client with the Atelectasis, keep in mind that With Age Comes Respect. You will have things to learn, adapt and help your client to overcome. When you do, you can help them more than you will ever know!