ATELECTASIS is the term applied to incomplete aeration of a lung or part of a lung. It is derived from two Greek words— άτελης incomplete, and [ill]κτασις extension. From conception to death the only time that atelectasis may be considered normal is when it is seen in the unborn fetus. There it exists in a perfect state. It most frequently occurs as a postoperative complication but it may occur as a manifestation of a bronchopulmonic disorder or it may follow a trivial accident. The incidence of atelectasis has been variously reported as causing from 3 to 70 per cent of all postoperative complications, with a 40 per cent mortality among those affected.1
Of all complications following surgical procedures, those involving the lung are the most feared and the most commonly reported.2
Massive pulmonary collapse was recognized as such as early as 1823, when Jorg described the incompletely aerated lung of
SAWYER LL. MASSIVE ATELECTASIS FOLLOWING TONSILLECTOMY UNDER LOCAL ANESTHESIA: Report of a Case. Arch Otolaryngol. 1947;46(1):45–51. doi:10.1001/archotol.1947.00690020052004
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