Papers And Originals

Postoperative Pulmonary Atelectasis and Collapse, and its Prophylaxis with Intravenous Bicarbonate

Br Med J 1970; 4 doi: (Published 03 October 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;4:26
  1. M. O'Driscoll


    Of 181 patients undergoing major abdominal surgery 116 developed chest complications associated with a metabolic acidosis, low Pco2, depressed tidal volume, increased respiratory rate, but no increase in minute volume. In a matched group of 116 patients given intravenous bicarbonate postoperatively only 15 developed chest complications. This suggests that respiratory physiological dead space decreases in patients with pulmonary collapse and atelectasis following surgery. Acidotic respiration proved inefficient in the postoperative period, and intravenous bicarbonate had a very pronounced effect on the tidal and minute volumes of acidotic patients with pulmonary collapse and atelectasis.