Pulmonary Function and Ventilatory Patterns During Anaesthesia
Respiratory function is significantly altered when a patient undergoes surgery and anaesthesia. Alterations occur in both the physical properties of the inhaled gases such as temperature, viscosity and humidity and in the characteristics of the upper and lower airways. Endotracheal intubation or the application of a face mask alter both the anatomical dead space and the airway resistance, as does decreased ciliary motility and the resultant decreased clearance of mucus from the airways. Decreased ciliary motility is caused by a number of factors including the use of inhaled anaesthetic agents, decreased temperature and humidity of inspired gases, increased fractional inspired oxygen concentration and the presence of an endotracheal tube [1–4].
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