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Lack of expansion of pulmonary alveoli (seepulmonary alveolus). With a large-enough collapsed area, the victim stops breathing. In adhesive atelectasis, obstruction or lack of surface tension keeps a newborn's alveoli from expanding. Compression atelectasis is caused by external pressure. Obstructive atelectasis may be caused by blockage of a major airway or when pain from abdominal surgery keeps breathing too shallow to clear bronchial secretions; treatment involves removal of obstruction or fluids, control of infection, and lung reinflation.
Variants of ATELECTASIS
atelectasis or lung collapse
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on atelectasis, visit Britannica.com.