Pulmonary Health

Pulmonary circulation is the movement of blood from the heart to the lungs and back again. Ask questions about how to maintain a healthy heart here.

1,815 Questions
Pulmonary Health

What is sinobronchitis?

/si·no·bron·chi·tis/ (-brong-ki´tis) chronic paranasal sinusitis with recurrent bronchitis.

Pulmonary Health

Can severe hypoalbuminemia lead to pulmonary congestion or pulmonary edema?

There are two opposing forces controlling the movement of fluid from the blood into the interstitial compartment. One is the force of pressure which is driven by the heart and blood pressure which acts to push liquid into the lungs. The other force is osmosis which acts to keep liquid in the blood. The albumin in the blood increases the concentration of solutes in the blood and the water stays in the blood because of this. So hypoalbuminemia lowers the concentration of solutes in the blood and upsets the balance of forces to favor the movement of liquid into the interstitial compartment causing systemic oedema. however this does not generally happen in the lungs as the albumin concentration in the pulmonary interstitial fluid tends to follow that of the blood meaning oncotic forces are less important. So the answer is not usually.

Autoimmune Diseases
Pulmonary Health
Immune System

What is a sedimentation rate-westergren test?

Erythrocytes sedimentation rate (ESR), Westergren method,(Sed Rate) is blood test measures how quickly red blood cells (erythrocytes) settle in a test tube. The more red cells that fall to the bottom of a special test tube in one hour, the higher the sed rate.

When inflammation is present in the body, certain proteins cause red blood cells to stick together and fall more quickly than normal to the bottom of the tube. These proteins are produced by the liver and the immune system under many abnormal conditions, such as an infection, an autoimmune disease, and cancer. There are many possible causes of an elevated sedimentation rate. For this reason, a sed rate blood test is done with other tests to confirm a diagnosis. Once a sed rate blood test is conducted, the course of the disease or the effectiveness of treatment can be monitored.

The normal sedimentation rate (Westergren method) for males is 0-15 millimeters per hour, and for females is 0-20 millimeters per hour. The sedimentation rate can be slightly more elevated in the elderly and is much lower for children.

Pulmonary Health

Can pulmonary edema cause fever?

Yes, in my opinion pulmonary edema can cause fever: it happened to my father after a disseminated infection by staf aureus caused by pace maker. Any time water accumulated in lungs he had fever (till 38.2° C) and this was interpretaed as recurrent infection even if he had been treated for weeks with hoigh dosed of 2 antibiotics for which the st aures was sensible. PCR also raised during these periods. I concluded that accumulation of water in the interstitium of the lung was induced by different causes including diltiazem; by reducing edema, fever (and PCR too!) decreased.

Cristina Agostinis

Cold and Flu
Pulmonary Health

Do you have a chest infection if you have a sore throat cough up green phlegm with a very chesty cough and have a stopped up nose which makes it hard to breathe?

Coughing up green stuff is a sign of infection, so you should get an examination by your health care professional to find out if you need treatment.

Conditions and Diseases
Pulmonary Health

Has there ever been any relationship between Adult onset Asthma and DVT or Pulmonary Embolism?


Medication and Drugs
Pulmonary Health

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Conditions and Diseases
Pulmonary Health

What foods should you avoid if you have bronchiectasis?

According to the US National Institutes of Health site (see link in related links section), the only recommendation found about foods and nutrition in bronchiectasis includes getting plenty of fluids and eating a healthy diet while following a healthy lifestyle. Avoid sodium, solid fats, processed grains, and sugar:

A healthy lifestyle also involves following a healthy diet. A healthy diet includes a variety of vegetables and fruits. It also includes whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, and protein foods, such as lean meats, poultry without skin, seafood, processed soy products, nuts, seeds, beans, and peas.

A healthy diet is low in sodium (salt), added sugars, solid fats, and refined grains. Solid fats are saturated fat and trans fatty acids. Refined grains come from processing whole grains, which results in a loss of nutrients (such as dietary fiber).

Staying hydrated also is important. Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, helps prevent airway mucus from becoming thick and sticky.

More from nih.gov about bronchiectasis:

Bronchiectasis (brong-ke-EK-tah-sis) is a condition in which damage to the airways causes them to widen and become flabby and scarred. The airways are tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs.

Bronchiectasis often is caused by an infection or other condition that injures the walls of the airways or prevents the airways from clearing mucus. Mucus is a slimy substance. It helps remove inhaled dust, bacteria, and other small particles from the airways.

In bronchiectasis, your airways slowly lose their ability to clear out mucus. The mucus builds up, and bacteria begin to grow. This leads to repeated, serious lung infections.

Each infection causes more damage to the airways. Over time, the airways can't properly move air in and out of the lungs. As a result, the body's vital organs might not get enough oxygen.

Still more about bronchiectasis:

Bronchiectasis is a lung condition where your child's bronchi become too wide and build up mucus in them. Your child's bronchi are medium-sized airways (tubes) that carry air in and out of his lungs. Your child's lungs make mucus to trap and remove germs and irritants that he breathes in. The mucus made in his lungs is also called phlegm and sputum. Your child's airways are lined with ciliated cells that help move the mucus out of his lungs. With bronchiectasis, your child's airways are damaged and he will have trouble clearing the mucus out. The mucus stays in his airways and germs may grow in it, causing new and repeated lung infections. Over time, this can cause your child's airways to swell, stretch out, and scar.

Pulmonary Health

How is pneumonia treated?

It depends on the type of pneumonia. It can be viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic, or due to inhalation of foreign substances. But, all types of infectious pneumonia require effective antimicrobial treatment of the specific organisms involved. All pneumonia types usually involve physiotherapy of lungs (respiratory therapy), and liquifaction and expectoration of secretions from the lungs using expectorant medications. Almost always in hospitalized patients, IV fluids are also needed to treat or prevent dehydration. Pneumonia is also often treated with IV or oral corticosteroids and/or oral NSAIDS to reduce the lung tissue inflammation, regardless of the type of pneumonia and organism or type of irritation or foreign substances involved.

Pneumonia from lung irritants and toxic inhalation:

Those with the types of pneumonia that are caused by irritation of the lung tissue (like aspiration pneumonia caused by choking on vomit, foods or liquids or being unable to swallow correctly; and pneumonia caused by inhalation of foreign substances like smoke inhalation or chemical inhalation, pollen for those allergic and/or with asthma, dust or other particles in the air or substances inhaled in illegal drug use), will often acquire secondary bacterial infections along with the initial inflammation. Prophylactic (preventive) antibiotics may be given before infectious pneumonia manifests. Empiric antibiotics are usually started asap and then adjusted if necessary to fight the specific organisms better once the lab cultures are completed to identify the culprits.

Bacterial pneumonia:

This is the most common type of pneumonia treated in hospitals. Once the culture results are reported, primary bacterial pneumonia conditions are treated with antibiotics specific to the organisms involved in causing the infection. Antibiotics may be given orally for minor bacterial lung infections on an outpatient basis or, if severe symptomology, then treatment will likely be done in a hospital and the antibiotics will ordinarily be given by IV there.

Parasitic pneumonia:

Parasitic pneumonia is uncommon and most often seen only in immuno-compromised patients, like those with HIV/AIDS or patients after an organ transplant on suppressants. Treatment is usually antibiotics and sometimes corticosteroids. Your body must do most of the "treating ".

Viral pneumonia:

Viral pneumonia can be treated with anti-viral medications and treatment for any secondary "opportunistic" bacterial infections found. Antibiotics do not help directly cure pneumonia caused by viruses. Your body, again, must do the treating of most viral infections for itself. Any secondary bacterial organisms will be fought with antibiotics, as well as with symptomatic treatment of fever, etc. Prophylactic antibiotics, as mentioned above, may also be used, especially in hospitalized patients, who can be exposed there to antibiotic-resistant bacteria and less common and harder to treat types of pneumonia.

Fungal pneumonia:

Anti-fungal medications are given for the fungal pneumonias, and secondary bacterial infections can also accompany these types that will need antibiotic treatment, as well.

Other treatment measures:

Other treatments for all of these types of infectious pneumonia, as well as the pneumonia caused by irritants, smoke inhalation or breathing of other chemicals or foreign substances, involve lab monitoring of the arterial blood gases (ABG) and keeping the oxygen levels in the blood from going too low (from improper air exchange in the fluid-filled lungs). Treatment or prevention of hypoxia (low oxygenation) is also given by administration of oxygen at levels above plain room air (to increase the oxygen available in your blood for your body to use while the lungs are less effective or ineffective at exchanging the gases).

Additionally, respiratory therapy treatments ("breathing treatments", often with aerosolized medications), may be given to help loosen secretions, open swollen bronchial tubes and other airway passages, and aid expectoration.

Finally, symptomatic treatments for fever, cough, chest pains, dehydration and other measures for comfort and relief are provided. In rare extreme cases, respiratory failure may require use of a mechanical ventilator (usually only required short term).

More information:

Some pneumonias are more difficult to treat than others. Legionaires' Disease is an example of a pneumonia that is difficult to treat and cure. Legionaires' Disease is often caught from stale water pooled in and around large air conditioning units of buildings, if the systems have not been maintained properly. It is a debilitating disease that could take a healthy adult about 6 months to recover completely.

Common antibiotics used for pneumonia (not all-inclusive):

Bacterial Streptococcus pneumonia is often treated with penicillin, ampicillin-clavulanate (Augmentin) and erythromycin.

Bacterial pneumonia caused by the Hemophilus influenza bacteria (just the name of the bacterium, not the same as the common flu which is viral) is treated with cefuroxime (Ceftin), ampicillin-clavulanate (Augmentin), ofloxacin (Floxin), and trimethoprim-sulfanethoxazole (Bactrim and Septra).

Bacterial pneumonia caused by legionella pneumophilia and staphylococcus aureus bacteria are often treated with erythromycin.

Viral pneumonia does not respond to antibiotic treatment. This type of pneumonia usually resolves over time through the work of your body's immune system. If the lungs become infected with a secondary bacterial infection, the doctor will prescribe an appropriate antibiotic to eliminate the secondary bacterial infection and sometimes these are given prophylacticly to prevent a secondary bacterial infection.

Mycoplasma pneumonia is often treated with erythromycin, clarithromycin (Biaxin), tetracycline or azithromycin (e.g., Zithromax, Z pack).

Symptomatic treatment:

In addition to the pharmaceutical intervention, the doctor will also recommend bed rest, plenty of fluid intake, therapeutic coughing and deep breathing, breathing exercises and incentive spirometers, proper diet, cough suppressants, pain relievers and fever reducers (such as aspirin, only for those over age 18) or acetaminophen. In severe cases, oxygen therapy and artificial mechanical ventilation may be required.

Course of the disease:

The course of pneumonia varies. Recovery time depends upon the organism involved, the general health of the person and how promptly medical attention was obtained. A majority of sufferers recover completely within a few weeks, with residual coughing persisting between six and eight weeks after the infection has gone.


Evaluation of the condition for diagnostic purposes often includes:

Lung/Chest x-rays and CT scans.

Cultures of organisms - Your blood and sputum/phlegm may contain germs that will show up in the laboratory cultures after a few days so the specific germs can be targeted with the right antibiotics.

Your blood cell counts will be tested (CBC) and if you have more white blood cells (WBC) than usual, it may indicate/confirm that you have an infection. Other blood tests that can help doctors confirm the diagnosis may also be done, such as measurement of sedimentation rates (Sed Rate), levels of C-reactive proteins (CRP), arterial blood gases (ABG), etc.

You may also require testing to monitor the levels of antibiotics in your system for some types of antibiotics and in some patients (e.g., gentamicin that requires very accurate dosing based on these lab tests).

Cold and Flu
Pulmonary Health

What is the rattle in your chest when you cough?

Phlegm in the bronchial tubes

Cold and Flu
Pulmonary Health

Does warm coke and lime help a cough?

It can. I had the flu 3 weeks ago and this worked, it helped me breathe better and it cleared my throat. But an even better drink for a cough (better tasting to me) is ginger tea.

Here are directions for making Ginger Tea:

Buy fresh ginger root from the grocery or health food store and get a piece about the size of the palm of your hand. The fresher the better. I determine the freshness by breaking off a piece. The skin should be tight and when you break a piece, it should snap off. If it's weak, softer and doesn't have a crisp, clean break, it's old.

Always wash ginger well. Although some people peel it, I leave the skin on without peeling it. I do cut off the gnarly, dark edges though.

Break or cut off a piece about the size of your thumb and slice it thinly.

Once the ginger is prepared, here are two simple ways to use it to make ginger tea:

1 - Put the ginger slices in a pot of room temperature water and turn up the heat until it boils. As soon as it boils, take it off the heat and let it cool for 5 - 10 minutes.

2 - Put the ginger slices in a cup. Boil some water, and add the hot water to your cup of ginger and let steep for 5 - 10 minutes.

I don't strain the pieces of ginger out (I leave them in and like to chew on them when finished with the tea). Then, just before you drink it, while it's still hot, squeeze in an entire lemon and add a tiny pinch of ground cayenne pepper and mix it up. Do not add honey or any sweetener. That should do the trick.

Cardiovascular Health
Conditions and Diseases
Pulmonary Health

How does an infant get sputum herpes?

The only way to 'catch herpes' is to come in contact with the virus. If neither parent has tested positive - someone with an active case; sneezed, coughed or breathed the virus onto the baby. The baby, not yet having the immunity to fight the virus, developed an infection in her/his respiratory system.

A newborn's own immune system doesn't begins to function until he is 3 months old, this is why the new born easily becomes infected and can become quite ill, while an older child may be exposed at the same time and never show any symptoms.

Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is usually associated with infections of the lips, mouth, or face. It is the most common type of herpes virus and it is found in up to 90% of all Americans. It is usually acquired in childhood between 6 months and 5 years of age. The transmission is generally via respiratory droplets (cough or sneeze) or direct contact. The virus enters the body through mucosal surfaces (mouth, nose, eyes) and in a new born can affect any part of the body.

Conditions and Diseases
Medical Terminology
Pulmonary Health

What is chronic atelectasis?

Chronic atelectasis is chronic or long-term collapse of part or all of a lung.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Pulmonary Health

Can RA cause pulmonary fibrosis?

Yes, "pulmonary fibrosis" can be one of the abnormality's found in the lungs of people that have Rheumatoid arthritis as well as the following problems.

Pleural effusion

Bronchiolitis obliterans

Pleural thickening

Necrobiotic nodules

Bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia (BOOP)


Interstitial pneumonitis

Pulmonary hypertension

For more information on this disease go to the "related link", below (Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis)

Pulmonary Health

Can you prevent a pulmonary embolism?

According to the Mayo Clinic - Preventing clots in the deep veins in your legs (deep vein thrombosis) will help prevent pulmonary embolism. Some prevention measures are used in hospitals. Others are precautions you can take yourself.

Preventive steps in the hospital

  • Heparin or warfarin (Coumadin) therapy. Anticoagulants such as heparin and warfarin are given to people at risk of clots before and after an operation - as well as to people admitted to the hospital with a heart attack, stroke or complications of cancer.
  • Graduated compression stockings. Compression stockings steadily squeeze your legs, helping your veins and leg muscles move blood more efficiently. They offer a safe, simple and inexpensive way to keep blood from stagnating after general surgery.
  • Use of pneumatic compression. This treatment uses thigh-high or calf-high cuffs that automatically inflate with air every few minutes to massage and squeeze the veins in your legs and improve blood flow.
  • Physical activity. Moving as soon as possible after surgery can help prevent pulmonary embolism and hasten recovery overall. This is one of the main reasons your nurse may push you to get up and walk despite pain at the site of your surgical incision.

Preventive steps while traveling

Sitting during a long flight or automobile ride increases your risk of developing blood clots in the veins of your legs. To help prevent a blood clot from forming:

  • Take a walk. Move around the airplane cabin once an hour or so. If you're driving, stop every hour and walk around the car a couple of times. Do a few deep knee bends.
  • Exercise while you sit. Flex, extend and rotate your ankles or press your feet against the seat in front of you, or try rising up and down on your toes. And don't sit with your legs crossed for long periods of time.
  • Wear support stockings. These help promote circulation and fluid movement. What's more, compression stockings no longer look like something your grandmother would wear - they're available in a range of stylish colors and textures. There are even devices, called stocking butlers, to help you put on the stockings.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Water is the best liquid for preventing dehydration, which can contribute to the development of blood clots. Avoid alcohol, which contributes to fluid loss.
Pulmonary Health

How many breaths does a person average each day?

12-16 beats per minute is average so...

720-960 beats per hour

17,280-23,040 per day

A normal respiratory rate is somewhere around 8-14 breaths per minute. Given 1,440 minutes in a day, and assuming a normal respiratory rate of say 12 breaths per minute, and that respiratory rate doesn't vary much throughout the day, you'd have 12 * 1,440 = 17,280 breaths in a day. Of course these assumptions break down when considering a real person doing real things (eg, what would happen in exercise?), the number at least gets you in the ballpark.

17,280-23,040 per day

The average person takes about 15 breaths a minute. So, 15 x 60 (minutes in an hour)= 900 x 24 (hours in a day) = 21,600.

Depending on the circumstances, the average person in- and exhales 12 times per minute 0.5 litres of air. 12 times 0.5 makes 6 litres of air per minute. Thus 60 times (1 hour) 24 times (1 day) 6 litres results in 8640 litres of air in 1 day. This is done in 17280 breaths per day.

Vital Signs
Elements and Compounds
Pulmonary Health

What is normal oxygen saturation?


Conditions and Diseases
Pulmonary Health

What is bibasilar atelectasis?

Atelectasis refers to an area of the lung that is squeezed into a smaller than normal size. Bibasilar means this happens in the left and right bottom parts of the lung. It can be due to many things - most commonly obesity, taking small breaths, plugs of mucus, or medications that suppress the cough. Rarely, more serious conditions such as blood clots can present with bibasilar atelectasis.

Pulmonary Health

What is the cure for primary complex - TB?

Primary complex is another name for tuberculosis (TB). Drugs can treat this condition, some of those are: isoniazid (Laniazid, Nydrazid), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane), pyrazinamide (pms-Pyrazinamide, Tebrazid) and ethambutol (Myambutol) - taken over at least a six month period.

Medical Technologies
Pulmonary Health

Can too much radiation from x-rays and ct-scan cause infertility in men?

Yes but the level of exposure that the average person would have to receive in order for that to occur is typically more than the typical diagnostic exposure time a patient would receive on a single visit. While CT's to give the most exposure at one time, unless it was a direct shot to the testes, one CT is unlikely (thought not impossible. There are rare exceptions to all cases with radiation) that it would happen. X-rays are far lower dosage and shielding of a patient's reproductive organs is typically done by technologists at all possible times.

Pulmonary Health

What is emphysema?

A pathological diagnosis defined as the permanent destructive enlargement of the air spaces distal to the terminal bronchioles, resulting in loss of alveolar surface area and reduction of oxygen exchange. Scarring of the lungs, usually caused by pollutants. At one point it was determined that over 95% of all people with emphysema were smokers. Just about everyone else had been working in an environment that had severely toxic pollutants. Smoking causes a temporary paralysis of the cilia in the lungs. Cilia are the fine, hair-like structures that are constantly in motion to move toxic particles out of the lungs. When the cilia are paralyzed, toxic particles can stay in one place and cause irritation. The irritation eventually turns to scar tissue and/or cancer. Smoking one cigarette can cause paralysis of the cilia for about an hour. It's as though cigarettes were specifically designed to cause emphysema. They have the toxic stubstances and they have a method of keeping the substances in contact with the lungs.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common lung diseases. It makes it difficult to breathe. There are two main forms of COPD: Chronic bronchitis, which involves a long-term cough with mucus; Emphysema, which involves destruction of the lungs over time.

Conditions and Diseases
Pulmonary Health

What is the normal white blood cells count?

Normal WBC starts at somewhere between 4.1 and 4.5 and goes up to 10 or 11.

Pulmonary Health

What can you take to liquefy viscous bronchial secretions?

Guaifenesin is probably the best OTC expectorant. However, there are other options. Increasing water intake will thin secretions, as long as there are no medical conditions that require limiting fluid intake. An increase in humidity can also help. Using, specifically, an ultrasonic nebulizer adds water to the respiratory system in a very gentle and effective way.

Pulmonary Health

What is life expectancy for a patient with pulmonary fibrosis?

It really depends on the type of Pulmonary Fibrosis.

If it's Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, then there's not much anyone can do on account of it being of an unknown cause. In these cases the general life expectancy is 5-7 years after contracting the disease.

For other variations of Pulmonary Fibrosis, ones caused by the immune system over reacting and causing inflammation (Sort of like a localized auto-immune disease) immunosupressants are often used. There are ongoing drug trials for new drugs, but unfortunately all of these are just stall tactics.

If patients have enough insurance, they may get lung transplants, in which case they'll live an average life span. However, lung transplants cost, on average, $500,000, so this route isn't often taken.

Conditions and Diseases
Pulmonary Health

What do you call a doctor who works with pulmonary diseases?



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