Respiratory Question #6


A nurse caring for a client with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) auscultates wheezes and diminished breath sounds. The wheezes and diminished breath sounds indicate that the client is experiencing which complication of COPD?


  1. The client is experiencing hypersaturation in oxygen.
    • Rationale:
  2. The client is experiencing pulmonary emboli.
    • Rationale:
  3. The client is experiencing bronchospasm.
    • Rationale:
  4. The client has the complication of pneumonia.
    • Rationale:



Bronchospasm and diminished breath sounds are characteristic of inflammation of large airways that cause narrowing and subsequent wheezing sound on auscultation. It occurs frequently in COPD and asthma. Answer A is incorrect since the opposite is true and the client may have low oxygen saturation. Pulmonary emboli is not related to COPD or characteristic of COPD complications. Infections and pneumonia may occur as in selection D, and wheezing may be present; however, auscultation may also reveal crackling, rales due to fluid movement, and possible friction rub. Other signs of pneumonia may indicate infection such as increased temperature. ā€œEā€ to ā€œAā€ changes in the lungs on auscultation when client speaks the letter (egophony) will also be present because of fluid.

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