Chapter 11. Pulmonary Complications of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Trauma

Bruce P Krieger, MD, FCCP
DOI: 10.1378/pulm.26.11
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  • Apply physiologic parameters preoperatively to predict postoperative pulmonary complications after thoracic resection or cardiac surgery.

  • Explain the pathophysiology of hypoxemia in patients after cardiac surgery and chest trauma.

  • Describe the initial assessment of the patient who has suffered blunt chest trauma.

  • Recognize and treat the most common causes of respiratory failure after cardiac surgery.


The pulmonologist's role in the ICU has dramatically expanded during the past decade. Therefore, familiarity with traditional surgical fields, such as trauma, cardiac surgery, and thoracic surgery, is essential for the care of our patients. This chapter will discuss some physiologic parameters that may predict postoperative pulmonary complications; pulmonary difficulties after cardiac surgery; and the pulmonologist's involvement with the complications of blunt chest trauma.


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