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Pulmonary complications after cardiac surgery 

Pulmonary complications after cardiac surgery
Pulmonary complications after cardiac surgery

Rainer Thell

and Michael Hiesmayr

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date: 26 September 2020

Pulmonary complications are common after cardiac surgery. They prolong the duration of hospital stay, contribute to postoperative morbidity, and increase mortality. Pulmonary complications include atelectasis, haemothorax, pleural effusions, pneumothorax, pneumonia, pulmonary oedema, embolism, phrenic nerve palsy, adult respiratory distress syndrome and chylothorax. The most important approach is to systematically apply a bundle of measures at each stage of the surgical process, such as patient preparation, minimizing intraoperative lung injury, decreasing the duration of mechanical ventilation, and early mobilization, as well as timely discharge from the intensive care unit. When clinical signs are found, early diagnosis and prompt intervention in a stepwise manner can minimize the impact of pulmonary complications on outcome from cardiac surgery.

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