On the 29th of November 2018 I had a major episode, whereby I went into Respiratory Failure… But due to being on bipap.. I came out of it after a few hours…
Thereafter many people were a bit confused with regards to how this transpires..
So I thought it’ll be easier to answer the load of queries that were sent in & recap everything about Pulmonary Edema in an informative, summarized version, after pieces were scattered in different chapters..
If there anymore questions, feel free to send them in. Hope this is a comprehensive coverage based on almost 2 years knowledge & experience living with it.
Nothing is from Google!!
This image of lung anatomy to help people understand, was shared by a forum which aims to help patients improve their condition.
The respiratory system is one of the most important functions of your body.
We don’t think about it because it’s controlled by the Autonomic Nervous system.
How deep or shallow we breathe, as well as how fast we breathe, is most. of the time not controlled by you yourself (voluntarily), unless you are practicing breathing techniques for relaxation.
1) PULMONARY EDEMA
Is a condition caused by excess fluid that accumulates in the tissue & air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs, making it difficult to breathe.
2) The term Edema / oedema is from a Greek word (oídēma, “swelling”)
✔️ More shortness of breath than is normal, when physically active
✔️ Difficulty breathing with exertion – Exertional Dyspnea. Categorized according to the level of breathlessness experienced.
✔️ Difficulty breathing when lying flat
✔️ A cough producing frothy, pink tinged sputum
✔️ Awakening at night with a cough or breathless feeling that may be relieved by sitting up – If it is not yet diagnosed / treated
✔️ (Rapid weight gain)
✔️ Fatigue / exhaustion
✔️ Confusion / haziness / fog
✔️ A feeling of apprehension
✔️ Heaviness / pressure within the chest cavity
✔️ Chest pain
2) There are 3 forms of Pulmonary edema
– Brought on by high altitude pressure.
3) In most cases, heart problems cause pulmonary edema, hence this is referred to as cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema. But fluid can accumulate for other reasons as well.
4) Cardiogenic pulmonary edema is caused by increased pressures in the heart.
It usually occurs when an overworked weak left ventricle is unable to pump out enough of the blood it receives from the lungs to the remainder of the body – (Congestive Heart Failure).
As a result, pressure increases inside the left upper chamber (atrium) ➡️ then in the veins and then ➡️ in the blood vessels of the lungs, causing fluid to be pushed through the blood vessel walls (capillaries) into the air sacs.
5) It causes the lung to shrink & is a sign of things getting dire (for instance Heart Failure)
6) When fluid fills & backs up in the air cells, it causes
Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome –
Where the possibility for air exchange is impaired & eliminated…
Resulting in a patient pretty much drowning in their own fluid.
7) Pulmonary Edema due to other causes is a short term occurrence, except for the cases that progress to adult respiratory distress syndrome.
RDS – Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Usually identified in young babies but recent research has identified adults can get it. It is caused by many things including nerve dysfunction. In my case from heart failure
8) It is a life threatening condition if not treated OR despite being treated.
9) If the lungs are overloaded or pulmonary edema is managed poorly, it may cause….