Causes

• Collapsed lobe/segment — bronchial obstruction (e.g. sputum retention, foreign body, blood clot, vomitus, misplaced endotracheal tube)

• Macroatelectasis — air space compression by heavy, oedematous lung tissue, external compression (e.g. pleural effusion, haemothorax), sputum retention

• Microatelectasis — inadequate depth of respiration, nitrogen washout by 100% oxygen with subsequent absorption of oxygen occurring at a rate greater than replenishment.

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