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Article
December 1927

POSTOPERATIVE MASSIVE ATELECTASIS: I. THE INFLUENCE OF POSTURE

Author Affiliations

ROCHESTER, N. Y.; CLEVELAND
From the Department of Surgery of the University of Rochester, and the Department of Surgery of Western Reserve University and the Lakeside Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1927;15(6):855-870. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1927.01130240028002
Abstract

The number of reported cases of massive atelectasis has been multiplied in the last few years. The spectacular clinical picture of the fully developed unilateral condition is now familiar. It occurs as a postoperative complication, following trauma, and associated with spontaneous painful diseases both intrathoracic and outside the chest. The importance of the atelectatic process in other types of postoperative pulmonary complications and in the bilateral form has not been clearly elucidated, but judging from the meager data available along these lines, it appears to be great. An explanation of the origin of postoperative massive atelectasis, therefore, will undoubtedly do far more than solve this clinical mystery, since it may prove to be a most important step in reducing the incidence of those fatal postoperative pulmonary complications now classified as pneumonia.

In spite of careful investigation, the original cause of postoperative massive atelectasis has not been proved. The discussion of

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