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Chapter 27: Assessment of the Respiratory System


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The throat, which extends from the soft palate to the esophagus and is lined with mucous membrane; part of the upper respiratory tract.
The "voice box" composed of several cartilages and located above the trachea, just below the throat at the base of the tongue; part of the upper respiratory tract.
The partition separating the two passages of the nose.
anterior nares
The nostrils or external openings into the nasal cavities.
Three bony projections that protrude into the nasal cavities from the walls of the internal portion of the nose.
paranasal sinuses
The air-filled cavities within the bones that surround the nasal passages. Lined with ciliated membrane, the sinuses provide resonance during speech and decrease the weight of the skull.
Pharyngeal tonsils, located in the nasopharynx, which trap organisms that enter the nose or mouth.
palatine tonsils
Tonsils located on the lateral borders of the oropharynx; guard against infection.
Surgical procedure in which an opening is made between the thyroid cartilage and cricoid cartilage ring and results in a tracheostomy; the procedure is used in an emergency for access to the lower airways.
The opening between the true vocal cords inside the larynx.
A leaf-shaped, elastic structure that is attached along one edge to the top of the larynx; closes over the glottis during swallowing to prevent food from entering the trachea, and opens during breathing and coughing.
Liquids or solids entering the trachea during swallowing.
The windpipe; part of the lower respiratory tract; located in front of the esophagus.
The point at which the trachea branches into the right and left mainstem bronchi.
The structural unit of the lower respiratory tract consisting of a respiratory bronchiole, an alveolar duct, and an alveolar sac.
type II pneumocytes
Specific cells found in the walls of the alveoli that secrete surfactant.
A fatty protein secreted by type II pneumocytes that reduces surface tension in the alveoli.
Collapse of alveoli.
The major muscle of inspiration, located just below the base of the lungs.
The continuous smooth membrane composed of two surfaces that totally enclose the lungs.
parietal pleura
The membrane that lines the inside of the chest cavity and the upper surface of the diaphragm.
visceral pleura
The membrane that covers the lung surfaces.
The number of packs of cigarettes per day multiplied by the number of years the client has smoked; used in recording the client's smoking history.
Difficulty in breathing or breathlessness.
Bathing, dressing, feeding, and ambulating, and independent living skills such as using the telephone, preparing food, and housekeeping.
paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea
difficulty breathing that develops after lying down for several hours, causing the client to awaken abruptly with a feeling of suffocation and panic. Occurs because the heart is unable to compensate for the increased volume when blood from the lower extremities is redistributed to the venous system, which increases venous return to the heart; a diseased heart is ineffective in pumping the additional fluid into the circulatory system, and pulmonary congestion results.
Shortness of breath that occurs when lying down but is relieved by sitting up.
Air in the chest cavity.
a crackling sensation that can be felt on a client's chest, indicating that air is trapped within the tissues.

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