Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Factors that increase the risk of atelectasis include:
- Premature birth, if the lungs aren't fully developed
- Impaired swallowing function, particularly in older adults — aspirating secretions into the lungs is a major source of infections
- Any condition that interferes with spontaneous coughing, yawning and sighing
- Lung disease, such as asthma, bronchiectasis or cystic fibrosis
- Confinement to bed, with infrequent change of position
- Abdominal or chest surgery
- Recent general anesthesia
- Shallow breathing — a result of abdominal pain or rib fracture, for example
- Respiratory muscle weakness, due to muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury or another neuromuscular condition
- Obesity — fat in the abdomen can elevate your diaphragm and hamper your ability to inhale fully
- Age — being a young child between the ages of 1 and 3
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