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2) Pulmonary Risk

This module focuses on assessment of the risk of postoperative pulmonary complications and strategies to reduce this risk in patients undergoing noncardiothoracic surgery. Pulmonary risk assessment is often neglected as physicians focus on cardiac and thromboembolic complications. Studies have shown though that pulmonary complications occur at least as frequently, if not more often, than cardiac complications and are associated with significantly longer hospital stays.  The most important and morbid postoperative pulmonary complications are atelectasis, pneumonia, respiratory failure, and exacerbation of underlying chronic lung disease.


Learning Objectives:

  • Assess pulmonary risk using validated risk calculators (R1, R2, R3)
  • Perform preoperative pulmonary testing in appropriate patients (R2, R3)
  • Institute strategies to reduce risk of postoperative pulmonary complications (R2, R3)
  • Evaluate and manage patients with sleep apnea in the perioperative period  (R3)


Click here to download the 2006 ACP guideline on assessment of and strategies to reduce perioperative pulmonary complications.


Download these PRACTICE CASES. They will guide your learning during this module.