Pulmonary edema can have cardiac causes, including trouble with the mitral valve or aortic insufficiency. The most common causes of pulmonary edema are related to problems with the heart, particularly heart abnormalities, heart failure, and heart attack, which is known medically as myocardial infarction. The primary cardiogenic, or heart-related, causes of pulmonary edema include a variety of heart abnormalities that result in an increase in the pulmonary venous pressure. Heart conditions like congestive heart failure, artery blockages and collapse, heart attack, and valve abnormalities can also be causes. When it comes to the heart valves specifically, some of the biggest causes of pulmonary edema include mitral valve stenosis, mitral valve regurgitation, and aortic insufficiency. Injuries also can be caused by pulmonary contusion, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism and oxygen toxicity, which occurs from breathing high concentrations of oxygen at high atmospheric pressures. Elevations of hydrostatic pressure that can lead to swelling are commonly also caused by increased intracerebral pressure in the brain, which is called neurogenic pulmonary edema.
The two main types of Pulmonary Oedema this essay will aim to evaluate are known as Interstitial and Alveolar Oedema. Pulmonary Oedema, usually resulting from left sided heart failure, is fluid accumulation in the lungs which can happen due to inadequate functioning of the heart or circulatory system.
The second is known as Interstitial Oedema which occurs initially when a build up of pressure pushes the fluid out of the alveoli and into the surrounding tissue. Heart failure is recognized as being the most common cause of the illness and the number of patients, mainly elderly, seems to be increasing. This evidence suggests that Pulmonary Oedema is becoming more prevalent in the UK, also compelling healthcare professionals to recognize it as an illness generally associated with the elderly. However, there are other causes of Pulmonary Oedema that would lead one to believe that it should not necessarily be an illness solely associated with the elderly. There are many different symptoms of Pulmonary Oedema, and some may be easier to recognise than others. The main symptom of Pulmonary Oedema can be recognized if the patient is experiencing difficulty in breathing. The classic signs of Pulmonary Oedema can be the production of pink frothy phlegm, swelling of certain limbs such as the ankles or hands, anxiety, wheezing and restlessness.
In conclusion, this essay has hopefully gathered a sufficient amount of evidence to suggest the condition is becoming more prevalent in the UK, and that increasing numbers of patients with the illness are predominantly associated with the elderly. Inasmuch, it can also occur as a result of inflicted social behaviour which can be implemented from any age group. Artery blockage problems known as myocardial ischemia are often included on this list, too. This increase shifts the delicate balance between the interstitial tissue and the pulmonary capillaries. These problems often result in volume overloads of the left ventricle, which causes an imbalance when it comes to how much blood is pumped to the lungs and how well they are oxygenated . Ventricular septal defects, which are holes within the cardiac muscle separating the two lower chambers of the heart, can also be problematic. A lung that collapses is an extreme example, but even severe bruising or scarring can cause a collection of blood and lung fluids to pool.


Some of the most common symptoms of injury-related edema include extreme bouts of shortness of breath, particularly when lying down, and a bluish pallor to the skin. For example, high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) is an acute mountain illness that occurs when persons ascend to high elevations without proper acclimation. Air pollution can also be a cause, particularly in children and particularly in places where the air quality is generally bad to start with. These are usually serious conditions and can include sepsis, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), and pancreatitis.
Some chemical causes of pulmonary edema include radiographic contrast allergies, salicylate intoxication and inhaled toxins, such as occurs in smoke inhalation.
This particular field of study has been chosen and this essay will aim to analyse and evaluate the condition, as well as briefly identifying which kind of patient the illness is generally associated with .
Heart failure is recognised as one of the most common causes of the illness and this essay will also aim to gather and analyse evidence to support this claim. It can be a result of cardiac disorders and can appear as a chronic condition or develop quickly, rapidly becoming fatal (Springhouse 2003). The first, known as Alveolar Oedema, is a condition in which the alveoli of the lung become filled with fluid, and can therefore appear opaque to x-rays.
This can be caused by Multi trauma, illicit drug use particularly cocaine, and from a Haemorrhage to the subarachnoid space of the brain.
This claim is supported by McDonagh et al (1997) cited by Coady (2002:41) who claimed that heart failure is predominantly a disease of the elderly and in the UK, prevalence of symptomatic heart failure increases with age to about 10 percent in those aged over seventy five years and it continues to rise. Such causes could be pneumonia, head injury, mercury poisoning or even near drowning as these causes can occur in people of any age. In the case of Alveolar Oedema the patient may be showing external signs of Pulmonary Oedema, but due to the condition being opaque to x-rays medical professionals may find it difficult to diagnose from evidence based on internal symptoms especially if the condition is in its early stages and no infections or noticeable lung damage has been induced. Depending on the stage of development of the condition; breathing difficulties may vary in accordance with severity. Atozdiseases (2007) claim that in a severe attack patients may also turn bluish as there is an insufficient amount of oxygen in the blood.
The information presented shows that Pulmonary Oedema can generally be a condition associated with elderly patients, usually induced from inadequate cardiac or respiratory function. This essay has hopefully given a clear insight into the symptomatic changes the body can go through, as well as looking at the main causes of Alveolar and Interstitial Pulmonary Oedema. The heart and lungs are connected in a number of important ways, and when the heart isn’t working properly it can impact how much blood is pumped in and out of the lungs — which, in turn, can cause or worsen fluid build-up problems. This fluid is often blood, but it can also be water, lymphatic fluid, mucus, or a combination of some or all of these. When this happens, the hydrostatic pressure elevates, promoting the collection of fluid into the capillaries and thereafter into the alveoli. Edema increases inside the lungs from leakage of proteins through damaged capillary linings. Of all the causes of this condition, HAPE has the simplest treatment: people usually need only to descend to lower altitudes to get things re-stabilized.
Multiple transfusions with negative reactions can also lead to fluid and swelling, as can trauma to other parts of the body that may seem unrelated.


This claim is also supported the statement that if it is left untreated it can lead to coma or even death. In this circumstance, treatment can be delayed if the external symptoms are not recognized and it is the fluid inside the alveoli septa that usually fills the airspace.
If this is present for a long time the patient may become more susceptible to infection as well as sustaining acute injury to the lung.
If the patient is repositioned upright breathing can become more manageable, it does not resolve the condition completely but can help manage comfort levels if only temporarily. These aren’t the only potential causes of edema, though; lung injury and trauma are also high on the list.
The extent of the pulmonary edema depends on osmotic and hydrostatic forces within the pulmonary capillaries. Alveoli are tiny air sacs that easily fill with fluid, resulting in shortness of breath and coughing. Fluid follows the leaking proteins due to oncotic forces causing a dysfunction of the surfactant-lined alveoli. If the injury is bad enough, problems can travel through the blood to many different places. It is the same fluid accumulation that can prevent oxygen from filling the alveoli, and in turn can also stop the oxygen from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Blood issues, including pancreatitis and bad reactions to transfusions, are also possibilities, as are environmental factors like heavy air pollution or reduced oxygen levels, particularly at high altitudes. Extended time on cardiopulmonary bypass during surgeries can also sometimes lead to lung edema. Some of the common causes for this condition are usually inhalation of toxic gases, severe infection, aspiration or even multiple blood transfusions.
Heart failure is characterized by the heart no longer being able to pump blood properly throughout the body. Anyone who is experiencing difficulty breathing, is vomiting blood, or who experiences periodic bursts of intense difficulty breathing should usually get medical attention as soon as possible. In cases of pulmonary edema, the lungs cannot put oxygen into the bloodstream, and the rest of the body is deprived of oxygen. Your doctor will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope, discuss your symptoms, and ask about your medical history.
If he or she believes you have fluid in your lungs, your doctor will order additional tests.
Those with high risk conditions should seek immediate attention if they develop symptoms of the disorder.



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