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Friday, March 9, 2012

How does dehydration make lungs sound?

Today we tackle your RT questions

Your question:  How does dehydration make the lungs sound?

My humble answer:  Usually if the patient is dry secretions may dry in the throat and this causes an audible wheeze or stridor.  This happens often with patients admitted with ETOH (alcohol abuse) and who go through detox.  They usually have that audible wheeze that's often confused with a true bronchospasm wheeze.  We had a patient this past weekend who was dehydrated secondary to multiple myelomas. In fact, the doctors overhydrated her to the point she had wheezes due to fluid overload (which would be your cardiac wheezes).  It annoys doctors and nurses and family members, so it's treated as bronchospasm with Albuterol nebulizers every 4 hours.

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