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Pulmonary congestion

Also known as Chest Congestion and Lung Congestion

Pulmonary edema (American English), or oedema (British English; both words from the Greek οἴδημα), is fluid accumulation in the air spaces and parenchyma of the lungs. It leads to impaired gas exchange and may cause respiratory failure. It is due to either failure of the left ventricle of the heart to adequately remove blood from the pulmonary circulation ("cardiogenic pulmonary edema"), or an injury to the lung parenchyma or vasculature of the lung ("noncardiogenic pulmonary edema"). Treatment is focused on three aspects: firstly improving respiratory function, secondly, treating the underlying cause, and thirdly avoiding further damage to the lung. Pulmonary edema, especially in the acute setting, can lead to respiratory failure, cardiac arrest due to hypoxia, and death.

Source: Wikipedia

What are the symptoms?

Within all the people who go to their doctor with pulmonary congestion, 85% report having shortness of breath, 65% report having sharp chest pain, and 56% report having difficulty breathing. The symptoms that are highly suggestive of pulmonary congestion are shortness of breath, congestion in chest, and decreased heart rate, although you may still have pulmonary congestion without those symptoms.


What might my doctor prescribe?

Common Tests and Procedures

Patients with pulmonary congestion often receive hematologic tests, radiographic imaging procedure, complete blood count, plain x-ray, electrocardiogram, kidney function tests, glucose measurement and electrolytes panel .

Common Medications

The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with pulmonary congestion include furosemide, nitroglycerin, ipratropium, hydralazine, labetalol, oxygen, naloxone (suboxone), sodium polystyrene sulfonate (kayexalate), bortezomib (velcade), brompheniramine / phenylephrine, metolazone, creatine and nitroprusside .

Furosemide
$4
(28 days)
Nitroglycerin
$31
(28 days)
Ipratropium
$66
(21 days)
Hydralazine
$24
(28 days)
Labetalol
$19
(28 days)
Oxygen

Naloxone (Suboxone)
Under $1
(0 days)
Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate (Kayexalate)
$57
(14 days)
Bortezomib (Velcade)
$4980
(21 days)
Metolazone
$22
(28 days)
Creatine

Nitroprusside

Who is at risk?

Groups of people at highest risk for pulmonary congestion include age 75+ years, age 60-74 years and age < 1 years.

Age

< 1 years
1.9x
1-4 years
0.8x
5-14 years
0.4x
15-29 years
0.2x
30-44 years
0.5x
45-59 years
0.7x
60-74 years
2.5x
75+ years
2.5x

Sex

Male
1.1x
Female
0.9x

Race/Ethnicity

Black
1.3x
Hispanic
0.7x
White
1.0x
Other
1.1x
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