Chapter-09 Respiratory Nursing

BOOK TITLE: Medical Surgical Nursing

1. Basavanthappa BT
Publishing Year
Author Affiliations
1. Government College of Nursing, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, Rajarajeshwari College of Nursing, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India; Government College of Nursing, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India; Faculty of Nursing, RGUHS, Karnataka, India, Academic Council, RGUHS, Karnataka, India; IGNOU, BSc Nursing Course, Karnataka and Goa, India; Nursing Research Society of India, New Delhi, India; Trained Nurses , ssociation of India, New Delhi, India; RGUHS Nursing Teachers Association, Karnataka, India
Chapter keywords


Respiration refers to the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide across the cell membrane. The main function of respiratory system is gas exchange, which involves the transfer of oxygen and CO2 between the atmosphere and the blood. Respiratory system divided into two parts, i.e. upper and lower respiratory tract. The upper respiratory tract includes the nose, pharynx, adenoids, tonsils, epiglottis, larynx, are traction. The lower part consists of the bronchi, bronchioles, alveolar ducts and alveoli. All lower airway structures are a contained within the lungs. The right lung has three lobes and left lung has two lobes. The structure of the chest wall (ribs, pleura, muscles of respiration) is also essential to respiration. Disorders of the respiratory system are common and are encountered by nurses in every setting from the community to the intensive care unit. To assess the respiratory system the nurse must be skilled at differentiating between normal and abnormal assessment findings. Expert assessment skills must be developed and used when caring for patients with acute and chronic respiratory problems. In addition, an understanding of respiratory function and the significance of abnormal diagnostic test results is essential. Many upper airway disorders are relatively minor, and their effects are limited to mild and temporary discomfort and inconvenience for the patient. Others, however, are acute, severe, and life-threatening and may require permanent alterations in breathing and speaking. Therefore, the nurse must have expert assessment skills and understanding of the wide variety of disorders that may affect the upper air-way and an awareness of the impact of these alterations on patients. Because many of the disorders are treated outside the hospital or at home by patients themselves, patient teaching is an important aspect of nursing care. When caring for patients with acute, life-threatening disorders, the nurse needs highly developed assessment and clinical management skills, along with a focus on rehabilitation needs. Conditions affecting the lower respiratory tract range from acute problems to chronic disorders. Many of these disorders are serious and often life-threatening. Patients with lower respiratory tract disorders require care from nurses with acute assessment and clinical management skills who also understand the impact of the particular disorder on the patient’s quality of life and ability to carry out usual activities of daily living. Patient and family teaching is an important nursing intervention in the management of all lower respiratory tract disorders. This chapter cover some important disorders such as deviation septum, nasal fracture, rhinitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, bronchiectasis, empyema, lung abscess, occupational lung disease, lung cancer, chest trauma, rib fracture, flail chest, pneumothorax, haemothorax, pleural effusion, intestinal lung disease, vascular lung disorders, pulmonary embolism, pulmonary hypertension. Cor pulmonale, pulmonary contusion, chronic chronchitis, emphysema, asthma, cystic fibrosis respiratory failure. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and so on. Each disorder or condition discussed their etiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestation, diagnostic studies, treatment and nursing management along with nursing care plans and procedures of special conditions or disorders.

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