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Respiratory Exam
Respiratory Exam

The Trachea

July 1st, 2020

Tracheal Deviation

  • How to Elicit

  • Inspect the trachea and palpate gently, to identify deviation to either side.
  • Causes of Tracheal Deviation

  • Volume loss - lobectomy, pneumonectomy, significant atelectasis
  • Volume expansion - tension pneumothorax, large pleural effusion
  • Interpretation

  • Tracheal deviation toward the affected side - occurs due to volume loss
  • Tracheal deviation away from the affected side - occurs due to volume expansion

Tracheal Tug

  • How to Elicit

  • Ask the patient to breath in deeply, looking for downward movement of the trachea.
  • Significance

  • Suggestive of airway obstruction.
  • Note

  • Oliver's sign, also known as tracheal tug, involves downward movement of the trachea on systole and is indicative of a thoracic aortic aneurysm.
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