Pulmonary oedema

Accumulation of fluid in the lungs, usually due to leftsided heart failure. It may also be due to chest infection, inhalation of irritant gases, or to any of the causes of generalized oedema. The main symptom is breathlessness, which is usually worse when lying flat and may disturb sleep. There may be a cough, producing frothy, sometimes pink, sputum. Breathing may sound bubbly or wheezy. A diagnosis is made by a physical examination and by a chest X-ray. Treatment may include morphine, diuretic drugs, aminophylline, and oxygen therapy; artificial ventilation may also be given.


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