Pulmonary Edema (cont.)
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When a patient is in respiratory distress, the initial treatment will occur at the same time or even before the diagnosis is made. The health care practitioner will assess whether the airway is open and whether breathing is adequate; otherwise there may be a need to breathe for the patient until treatment becomes effective. The blood pressure may need to be supported with medications until the breathing status improves.
In situations in which there is the luxury of time to evaluate the patient, such as in an office or outpatient clinic, the treatment of pulmonary edema may involve minimizing risk factors that may have caused it.
In cardiogenic pulmonary edema, efforts to maximize heart function and decrease the amount of work the heart has to do are attempted to try to decrease the amount of fluid that the heart has to pump. This should decrease the amount of fluid build-up in the lungs and relieve symptoms.
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