The RT is called to see a 54-year-old woman who underwent abdominal surgery 2 days earlier. She is..

The RT is called to see a 54-year-old woman who underwent
abdominal surgery 2 days earlier. She is currently afebrile, alert, and
oriented but is complaining of dyspnea. Her resting respiratory rate is 34
breaths/min, and the breaths are shallow. Her heart rate is 110 beats/min. She
is 5 feet tall and weighs approximately 185 lb. During the brief interview, the
RT identifies that the dyspnea has gradually increased over the past 12 hours
and increases with exertion. The RT auscultates diminished breath sounds in the
bases, with some fine, late inspiratory crackles. The remainder of the physical
examination is normal. What is the most likely cause of this patient’s dyspnea,
and what should be done?

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