Bibasilar Atelectasis


download (28) The lungs are one of the most important organs that exist in the human body. They are absolutely necessary for us to live and thrive. Because of their requirement of human life, there are certain conditions, diseases, and abnormalities that can impact them and also hinder our abilities to breathe enough oxygen

One of these conditions that can detriment our body;s ability to breath in is called Bibasilar Atelectasis. Bibasilar Atelectasis happens when one of the parts of the lung do not inflate or deflate properly. Although it can occur with no known causes, direct chest trauma and surgery are often the most common cause of this disorder.

Bibasilar Atelectasis: What is it?

This condition can also affect either the right or left part of the lungs. In order to better understand it, you need to be more familiar with its various causes, symptoms, and treatments. Bibasilar Atelectasis is the name given to the condition when a prolapse of both or one of the lungs occurs. This condition can be acute or chronic, but either way when it happens it complicates and can detriment the body’s ability to get suffice oxygen.
To better understand this condition, you must first know about the Lungs! Each human body possesses a single pair of lungs one is located on the right side and one is located on the left side of the chest cavity. There are many important functions of the lungs, however the most important component of the lungs are alveoli (the air sacs contained in the lungs.) These air sacs are totally responsible for transfer of gasses and exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the lungs. When a prolapse or collapse of either lung happens it interferes with the lung’s ability to exchange gases that are necessary for sustenance of life.

Bibasilar Atelectasis: The Symptoms and Signs

Such as other diseases and symptoms of lung conditions- some of the symptoms can coincide with other diseases and health threats so be sure to note that not all people that experience the following signs have  Bibasilar Atelectasis  but it is worth a look and further consultation with your physician if you experience:

  • Persistent cough
  • Low-grade fever
  • Troubles breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty in breathing

 Bibasilar Atelectasis: Causes

Bibasilar Atelectasis commonly occurs when the airways are compromised or blocked. During surgery where anesthesia is used it almost always slows the exchange of gases in the alveoli of the lungs. This is where the lungs are more proned to prolapse and collapse

The other reasons for an obstruction in the lungs (obstructive atelectasis) include:

Mucus plug: During surgery, the drugs injected into the patient cause the lungs to have decreased inflation, prompting the mucus to collect in the airways. An ordinary, medical practice of suction of the lungs helps curb this situation; though, the mucus may keep developing afterwards. This is one of the reasons doctors suggest deep breathing exercises during recovery. Mucus plugs are also found in people suffering from cystic fibrosis, and asthma.

Tumor: Since a tumor is already an obstruction, it can cause atelectasis.

Diseases & Compromised Airway: Diseases, like tuberculosis and fungal infection, can give rise to scarring in the lungs which constricts the airways.

Blood clots: Suffering from severe physical trauma can cause blood to spill out inside the lungs, which, sometimes can’t be coughed out

Bibasilar Atelectasis: The Complications that Can Happen

Bibasilar Atelectasis can arise many complications which can severely impact health and even become life threatening.

Pneumonia: Plugs and clumps of mucus can effect the lungs in a negative way after this condition has occurred. With this excess of mucus it can cause pneumonia bacteria to flourish and grow.

Respiratory failure: Bibasilar Atelectasis can be treated pretty simple when it only impacts a small region of the lung, However, if it does impact a large portion or is apparent in a senior or small child it can lead to respiratory failure which in some cases can prove fatal or cause death.

Low blood oxygen (hypoxemia): Hypoxemia happens when the Alveoli cannot exchange gasses properly.

Lung scarring: In most cases once a lung has collapsed it has to be re-inflated manually. The damage done by this condition and treatment of often causes lung scarring which can also result in further breathing difficulties and lung conditions.

Note: Consult with a medical professional immediately if you are experiencing these types of problems and cannot breathe adequately.

Bibasilar Atelectasis: Diagnosis and Treatment

The most popular way that physicians diagnose bibasilar atelectasis is to get an X-ray of the lungs which can show the obstruction and where the airways of the lungs gave prolapsed/collapsed. But, if an X-ray does not firmly help the doctor to find out what is happening he/she may use other means to test and scan for this condition such as CY scan, MRI. ultrasound, and more.

Depending on the severity of the condition, your doctor will decide the best course of treatment which can range from removing tumors, an obstruction, and more. They may recommend breathing treatments as well as respiratory therapy and also combat infections and further complications by prescribing a course of antibiotic medications.


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