When percussing the client’s chest wall what does the nurse expect to elicit?
A slightly obese female client with a history of allergy-induced asthma. hypertension. and mitral valve prolapse is admitted to an acute care facility for elective surgery. The nurse obtains a complete history and performs a thorough physical examination. paying special attention to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
When percussing the chest wall. the nurse expects to elicit resonant sounds low-pitched. hollow sounds heard over normal lung tissue. Hyperresonant sounds indicate increased air in the lungs or pleural space; theyre louder and lower pitched than resonant sounds. Although hyperresonant sounds occur in such disorders as emphysema and pneumothorax. they may be normal in children and very thin adults. Dull sounds. normally heard only over the liver and heart. may occur over dense lung tissue. such as from consolidation or a tumor. Dull sounds are thudlike and of medium pitch. Flat sounds. soft and high-pitched. are heard over airless tissue and can be replicated by percussing the thigh or a bony structure.