Notes Physical examination- Assessment of cardiopulmonary system



The physical examination includes the assessment of cardiopulmonary system.
Inspection :
·        Skin and mucous membrane colour
·        General appearance
·        Level of consciousness
·        Adequacy of systemic circulation
·        Breathing patterns
·        Chest wall movement
·        Observe the rate, depth, rhythm, and quality of respirations, noting the position the client assumes for breathing.
·        Variations in the shape of the thorax that may indicate adaptation to chronic respiratory conditions.
·        Observe nails for clubbing
·        Observe chest wall movement for retraction.
·        Observe the patients breathing pattern and assess for paradoxical breathing
·        Assess for Kussmaul’s respiration, apnea, Cheyne stokes respiration
·        Assess the shape of the chest wall.
·        For thoracic excursion, areas of tenderness, tactile fremitus, PMI
·        Extremities for peripheral circulation
·         Feet and legs determines the presence or absence of peripheral oedema
·        Pulses in the neck and extremities to assess arterial blood flow
·        It detects the presence of abnormal fluid or air in the lungs

·        It helps to identify normal and abnormal heart and lung sounds

The diagnostic tests to assess respiratory status, function and oxygenation includes:

  • sputum specimens
  • throat cultures
  • visualization procedures
  • venous and arterial blood specimens
  • pulmonary function tests
  • X rays

Measurement of arterial blood gases:
Blood for these tests is taken directly from the radial, brachial, femoral arteries or from catheters placed in these arteries.
Pulmonary function tests:
  • ·        Measure lung volume and capacity.
  • ·        The client breathes into a machine (spirometer).
  • ·        The tests are painless, but the client's cooperation is essential.
  • ·        It requires the ability to follow directions.
  • ·        Nurses need to explain the tests to clients beforehand and help them to rest afterward because the tests are often tiring.



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item Notes Physical examination- Assessment of cardiopulmonary system
Notes Physical examination- Assessment of cardiopulmonary system
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