Cheyne-Stokes Respiration

Definition of Cheyne-Stokes Respiration A pattern of breathing in which periods of apnea alternate with periods of accelerated breathing. Cheyne-Stokes respiration indicates damage to the brainstem or other nervous system mechanisms that regulate breathing. This breathing pattern also occurs in severe heart failure. During the apneic periods, which may last up to 60 seconds, breathing stops. During […]

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Pulmonary embolism – diagnosis, symptoms and treatment

Definition of Pulmonary Embolism Pulmonary embolism – a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood through the main pulmonary artery, the right or left pulmonary artery, or branching arteries within the lobes and segments of the lungs. Untreated pulmonary embolism can cause respiratory distress or death; about 30,000 people die each year in the United States as a […]

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Definition of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are a serious, often debilitating, and potentially fatal condition in which inflammation and scarring destroy alveoli, bronchioles, and bronchi. The most common cause of COPD is cigarette smoking; 8 of 10 Americans who have COPD are smokers. Uncontrolled asthma and chronic lung diseases such […]

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Pulmonary Fibrosis – Symptoms, Diagnostic and Treatment

Definition of Pulmonary Fibrosis Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition in which scar tissue replaces normal tissue in the alveoli, reducing the ability of the lungs to oxygenate the blood. Many conditions of the lungs result in fibrosis, notably cystic fibrosis and occupational pneumoconiosis. Pulmonary fibrosis may also be idiopathic-that is, develop without an identifiable cause. Once the process of fibrosis begins in […]

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Pulmonary Hypertension – Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Pulmonary Hypertension Elevated blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries and the arteries within the lungs. Pulmonary hypertension develops when the arteries in the lungs become stiff and narrowed, increasing the resistance blood encounters in trying to flow through them. The condition typically starts in the smallest of arteries, the arterioles, and progressively involves larger arteries until pressure within the […]

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Cystic Fibrosis and the Lungs – Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Cystic Fibrosis Cystic fibrosis is an inherited genetic disorder affecting mucus production and clearance, cystic fibrosis alters the functioning of exocrine glands throughout the body and affects nearly all of the body’s systems. In the lungs, cystic fibrosis causes changes in the consistency and composition of the mucus the lungs secrete. The mucus accumulates along the inner […]

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Respiratory Failure – Acute/Chronic – Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Respiratory Failure The inability of the lungs to diffuse enough oxygen into the bloodstream to meet the body’s needs. Respiratory failure may arise from end-stage pulmonary disease, extensive trauma, severe cardiovascular disease (cvd) or crisis (such as heart attack), neurologic damage or injury (such as spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury [tbi], stroke, or neurodegenerative disorder), or severe infection (sepsis). Respiratory failure […]

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Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) – Symptoms and Treatment

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) Definition Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a complex of symptoms, formerly called adult respiratory distress syndrome, in which respiratory distress and respiratory failure develop accompanying severe illness or trauma. ARDS involves the whole of both lungs, as the lungs become inflamed and fill with fluid. ARDS may develop as a consequence […]

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Hemoptysis – Definition and Causes

Definition of Hemoptysis Hemoptysis is bleeding from the lungs, which typically manifests through blood in the sputum. It is typically frothy and bright red, though can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from blood that might originate in the esophagus or stomach. Hemoptysis that produces a volume of blood greater than the equivalent of two or three teaspoonfuls is a medical emergency that may represent […]

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Silicosis of The Lung – Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Silicosis of The Lung Silicosis is an obstructive condition of the lungs that develops with repeated and usually long-term exposure to crystalline silica (silica dust). It is a disease of occupational exposure. The silica dust causes irritation and inflammation of the airways and lung tissue. Scar tissue forms when the inflammation heals, resulting in fibrosis that gradually overtakes healthy […]

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