A healthy 20-year-old male is spontaneously breathing room air during an inguinal herniorrhaphy under subarachnoid block without any accompanying sedation. Which of the following respiratory parameters is most likely to be decreased as a consequence of the spinal anesthesia with a T2 level?

Healthy patients usually have few clinically relevant alterations in respiratory parameters during subarachnoid block, even if a patient has a high thoracic sensory block. Because diaphragmatic function is not compromised by spinal anesthesia, inspiratory functions, including tidal volume, are generally preserved. Expiratory functions are, however, altered due to impairment of the anterior abdominal muscles, resulting in a decreased expiratory reserve volume and other expiratory parameters listed in Table 1.

The compromised function of the muscles involved in exhalation results in a reduced ability to cough and clear secretions – a relevant consideration in patients who...

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