Postoperative Pulmonary Complications - Introduction

Patients undergoing general anesthesia (GA) are at risk for developing postoperative pulmonary complications (PPCs). PPCs commonly include atelectasis, hypoxemia, pneumothorax, pleural effusion, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and postoperative respiratory failure (PRF). The incidence of PPCs is 2% to 19%, depending on the patient population, the surgical procedure, and the type of respiratory complications studied and is comparable to that of postoperative cardiovascular complications. These complications are associated with increased mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, and increased length of stay.

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