Munson Health
Atelectasis in Infants

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by Jones P

Risk Factors

Factors that increase the chance of congenital atelectasis include:
  • Inhaled meconium or amniotic fluid
  • Prolonged or difficult labor
  • Birth injury to the central nervous system
Children under 3 years old are more likely to develop atelectasis than older children or adults. Factors that may increase your baby’s chance of atelectasis include:
  • Premature birth
  • Lung condition or infection—particularly if coughing is impaired
  • Injury to chest wall
  • Having anesthesia
  • Inhaling a foreign object, such as a peanut or marble
  • Respiratory distress syndrome
  • Being on ventilator—air does not move into lungs in a normal pattern


American Lung Association

Kids Health—Nemours Foundation



Health Canada

The Lung Association of Canada



Braverman M, Brown S. Congenital Atelectasis Discussion and Case Presentation. Radiology. December 2012, 265(3);1144.

Collapsed lung (atelectasis). Cedars-Sinai website. Available at: Accessed August 21, 2014.

What is atelectasis? National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: Updated January 13, 2012. Accessed August 21, 2014.


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