First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Health Library > Pulmonary Edema
Pulmonary edema is the buildup of fluid in the lungs, usually resulting from the heart's inability to pump blood through the body effectively. It can be caused by such things as heart or kidney failure, poisoning, or near-drowning.
Symptoms of pulmonary edema include difficulty breathing, restlessness, shortness of breath that is worse when lying down, rapid heart rate, and a cough that sometimes produces foamy pink fluid.
Although pulmonary edema can be a life-threatening condition, it is treatable, depending on the cause. Treatment may include oxygen given through the nose or a face mask. In severe cases, relief may require a breathing tube placed into the windpipe (intubation) and use of a breathing machine (ventilator). Medicines to strengthen the heart muscle or to relieve the pressure on the heart may also be given as needed.
Current as of:
September 5, 2018
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
UNC Medical Center
101 Manning Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
UNC Health Care Citrix
UNC Medical Center Intranet
Copyright 2019 UNC Health Care. All rights reserved.