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Small, handheld device that can be used with or without a nebulizer. pts can sit, stand or recline.


Increased response to tracheoobronchial tree to various stimulus that causes a narrowing and inflammation of the airways. SE: wheezing, cough, SOB. Tx: B2agonists (albuterol), corticosteroids, possible O2 to thin secretions.


Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchial membranes, caused by irritation or infection.


examination of the bronchi through a scope.

Bronchospasm, laryngealspasm

Abnormal narrowing with partial obstruction of bronchi lumen due to spasm or peribronchial smooth muscle. Accompanied by coughing and wheezing. Occurs with asthma and bronchitis. tx with bronchodilators and corticosteroids.


A group (emphysema, chronic obstructive bronchitis, chronic bronchitis or asthmatic bronchitis) of debilitating, progressive and potentially life threatening lung disease. Has increased resistance to air movement, prolonged expiratory phase and loss of elasticity.

COPD treatment

bronchodilators, albuterol, O2, antibiotics and corticosteroids. Monitor ABGs, PFT. Benefits from lung volume reduction surgery.

Cor pulmonale

Hypertrophy and/or R ventricle failure resulting from lung disorders, pulmonary vessels, chest wall or respiratory center. SE: cough, weakness, dyspnea, wheezing and JVD.


Adventitious discontinuous lung sound from air passing over secretions or sudden collapsed airways. May be heard on inspiration or expiration.


Crackling or rattling sound made by a part of the body either spontaneous or during physical exam.


Difficulty breathing.


Pathological distention of interstitial tissues by gas or air. Abnormal increase in size of air spaces and destruction of alveolar walls. Loss of elasticity and difficulty exhaling air. Residual air increases.

FEV 1 second

Forced expiratory volume in 1 second. Shows the ability to forced air out of lungs for PFT.


Increase in partial pressure of CO2 in the blood. Result from inadequate ventilation or from mismatched V&Q. SE: dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, tremors and twitching.


Same as hypercapnia


Oxygen deficiency in body tissues. Decreased concentration of oxygen in inspired air.


Decreased oxygen tension of arterial blood, measured by arterial oxygen partial pressure values (PaO2).


Difficulty breathing while laying down flat and improves when standing or sitting up. Classic sign of left ventricular heart failure.

Peak expiratory flow rate

max rate of exhalation during a forced expiration. Measured in Liters per second/minute. Used to test for airway obstruction.


Collection of air or gas in the pleural cavity. Air enters as a result of a perforation through the chest wall or pleura.

Postural drainage

Passive airway clearance technique where patients are positioned so that gravity will assist the removal of secretions from lung cavities. Used for patients with pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, inhaled foreign bodies, before lobectomy or in any patient having difficulty with retained secretions.

Pulmonary Function Test

Diagnostic test that measures expiratory flows and lung volume/capacity.

Chest physical therapy

Therapy that includes postural drainage, cough facilitation and breathing exercises used for loosening and removing lung secretions. Auscultate before and after. Percussion may be used to help postural drainage.


Low-pitched wheezing, snoring or squeaking sound heard with patient who has partial obstruction.

Status asthmaticus

Persistent and intractable asthma.


Inserting a needle through the chest wall and into the pleural space, to remove fluid. The needle is inserted just above the rib to avoid neurovascular bundle beneath each rib.

Tidal volume

total amount of air inspired or expired.


A surgical opening to the trachea to provide an open airway. Used when the opening is needed for more than 10-12 days.

VQ scan

Imaging used to detect PE. Perfusion is detected by an injection to the bloodstream and an inhalation of xenon gas to assess pulmonary aeration.


Continuous musical sound heard during expiration, caused by a narrowing of airways. Can result from asthma, bronchitis, croup, hay fever, stenosis, tumors, emphysema, COPD, bronchial spasms or foreign objects.

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