Fluid in the lungs: what to do?
Fluid in the lungs is a very dangerous problem that, in the absence of medical care, can cause a number of serious complications (even death). Pulmonary edema can be a symptom of many diseases.
Fluid in the lungs: causes
Fluid can fill the structural units (alveoli) of the lungs for various reasons. In most cases, this phenomenon occurs as a result of such factors:
- Inflammatory lung diseases, including tuberculosis, pleurisy and pneumonia.
- Heart failure - with this disease, the pressure in the pulmonary artery increases, which leads to fluid accumulation.
- Heart defects and valves.
- Some diseases and injuries of the brain.
- Brain surgery.
- Injuries to the chest and lungs.
- Inhalation of toxins, including some narcotic substances.
- Malignant neoplasms.
- Renal failure.
- Severe cirrhosis.
Fluid in the lungs: main symptoms
The severity of signs of edema directly depends on the amount of fluid and the place of its accumulation.
- Dyspnea is the first and most characteristic symptom of this condition.Accumulating fluid in the lungs leads to impaired gas exchange, resulting in shortness of breath (as a defense mechanism) - thus the body receives more oxygen. The more painful the patient's condition, the more difficult it becomes breathing, and not only during physical exertion, but also in a calm state.
- As the situation worsens, an intermittent cough appears with discharge of mucus.
- Some patients also complain of pain in the lower part or in the middle of the chest, which is aggravated during coughing.
- Due to breathing difficulties and oxygen starvation, sometimes the cyanosis of the skin occurs;
- Patients tend to become more restless.
Fluid in the lungs: diagnostic methods
To determine the presence of fluid, the doctor is obliged to examine the patient - during auscultation, hard breathing with moist rales is heard, blood pressure is elevated, the pulse is weak, but frequent. Using ultrasound, you can determine the presence of edema, as well as the amount of fluid. But here it is very important not only to diagnose the patient’s condition, but also to determine the cause of the edema — only in this way can the correct treatment be prescribed.
Fluid in the lungs: treatment
As already mentioned, treatment directly depends on the cause of fluid accumulation, as well as on its volume. For example, if the edema has developed as a result of heart failure, the patient is prescribed diuretic and cardiac medications, and antibiotics are used for an infectious disease. If the patient is in serious condition, they can artificially pump out the fluid with a catheter. And to eliminate hypoxia (oxygen starvation of tissues and organs), special gas inhalations are carried out. Remember that in no case can you ignore the problem. A patient with pulmonary edema must be supervised by medical personnel until they are completely cured.