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Table 1 Possible mechanisms of postoperative hypoxemia

From: Oxygen administration for postoperative surgical patients: a narrative review

Mechanism Factors involved
Atelectasis Direct compression of the lungs during operation, Incomplete lung re-expansion, Reduced chest wall and diaphragmatic movement due to surgical injury or pain
Alveolar hypoventilation Depressed level of consciousness due to residual effect of anesthetic drugs, Postoperative opioids
Impaired upper airway patency Residual effect of neuromuscular blocking agents, opioids, volatile anesthetics, or other agents with sedative properties, Airway tissue edema
Increased oxygen consumption Shivering, Fever, Systemic inflammatory response