About pump lung

What is pump lung?

Pump lung, (also known as Shock Lung), is inflammatory lung damage. 

  • Pump lung is caused by fluid buildup in the lungs' small air sacs (called alveoli), which makes breathing very difficult. It also results in severely low blood oxygen levels.
  • As a result of low blood oxygen levels, other organs like the brain, heart, kidneys, and stomach, are deprived of the oxygen they require to function. Pump Lung is rare and can cause a variety of harmful and life-threatening issues if not diagnosed or treated at the earliest.
  • The symptoms like modification in breathing, chest pain or coughing, dyspnea, hypopnea, hyperpnea and apnea are experienced due to pump lung.
  •  The symptoms of pump lung also show asthma

What are the symptoms for pump lung?

Bluish fingernails and lips symptom was found in the pump lung condition

The symptoms of pump lung can develop instantaneously or can develop over some time. If the symptoms of pump lung are not treated properly, it can be fatal. The symptoms of this condition can be bifurcated into different heads. They are:

Acute or sudden symptoms 

  • Shortness of breath, especially during an activity or when lying down.
  • Cough that produces frothy saliva or Mucus with the spotting of blood.
  • Suffocation or constant feeling as if one is drowning.
  • Skin becomes slimy or sticky and preferably Cold to touch.
  • Frequent fluctuations in the beating of the heart.
  • Difficulty taking breaths which can turn into wheezing.
  • The feeling of being abnormally tense and restless. 
  • Change in the color of lips; to blue in color.

Long term symptoms

  • Interrupted sleep with constant Coughing which can only be relieved by sitting up straight.
  • Difficulty breathing while doing physical workouts.
  • Visible Swelling in areas from hip to toes.
  • Being Tired all the time.
  • Quick weight gain.
  • Cough that has been persistent.

Symptoms while at high altitude

  • Dry Cough
  • Saliva or Mucus in pink color.
  • Abnormal or fast beating of the heart.
  • The chest feels restrictive.
  • Total Weakness of the body.
  • Fever that is of feeble temperature.

What are the causes for pump lung?

Pump Lung, (inflammatory lung damage caused by fluid buildup in the lung’s small air sacs) makes it very difficult for the lungs to breathe in air, giving rise to severely low blood oxygen levels.

Fluid leaks from small lung vessels into lung air sacs causes when the shielded membrane between blood vessels.

Causes of pump lung include:

  1. Sepsis: The most common cause of pump lung is a serious infection in the lungs (pneumonia) or other organs accompanied by widespread inflammation.
  2. Aspiration pneumonia: Aspirating stomach contents into the lungs can result in severe lung damage
  3. Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection: COVID-19 infection can also lead to pump lung disease.
  4. Pancreatitis (severe pancreatic inflammation) and massive blood transfusion
  5. Major trauma and burns: Accidents and falls can cause direct damage to the lungs or other organs in the body, resulting in severe inflammation and injury to the lungs
  6. Inhalational injury: Breathing in and being exposed to high levels of chemical fumes or smoke
  7. Drug overdose: An overdose from drugs such as cocaine or opioids.
  8. Severe traumatic injury (especially multiple fractures), severe head injury, and injury to the chest

What are the treatments for pump lung?

Pump lung is dangerous and can cause a variety of harmful and life-threatening issues. So it is better to diagnose it at the earliest and get treated.

  • Pump lung is typically treated in the intensive care unit (ICU), along with the underlying cause.
  • Mechanical ventilation (a breathing machine) is frequently used in the care of patients. In milder cases, oxygen may be administered through an adjusted face mask or a nozzle inserted through the nose.

Steps to reduce complications from pump lung condition are as follows:

  • Sedation to alleviate pain
  • Breathing procedures to check when the tube and ventilator can be removed safely
  • Blood thinners to keep clots at bay
  • Reducing fluid accumulation in the lungs
  • Reducing stomach ulcers caused by stress
  • Physical therapy and active mobility to prevent muscle pain
  • Intravenous fluids are administered to provide nutrition and prevent dehydration, and they are closely monitored to prevent fluid accumulation in the lungs (pulmonary edema).
  • Although no direct pharmacological treatments have been shown to successfully treat the condition, researchers are still working to find a cure.

List of symptoms

  • Severe shortness of breath or lack of breath
  • Rapid and labored breathing
  • Extreme exhaustion and muscle fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Quick heartbeat
  • Bluish fingernails and lips as a result of low oxygen levels in the blood
  • Chest pain and a cough

List of Conditions

  • Pneumonia from aspiration
  • Coronaviruses (COVID-19)
  • Severe trauma and burns
  • Inhalational harm
  • Overdoes from drugs

List of Drugs

What are the risk factors for pump lung?

Pump lung is a condition that happens due to the diffuse infiltrative process in the lungs. 

  • Pump lung has significant risk factors associated with it. It may accompany various medical and surgical conditions. It is often associated with interstitial pneumonitis.
  • Medical experts diagnose pump lung in people between 30 to 60 years. Growing older can increase the risk of getting the condition. However, pump lungs from an unknown cause are more common in younger adults.

Mentioned hereunder are the major factors that can raise the risk of pump lung.

  • A family history of the condition
  • An overweight body
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • A family history of a blood clot in the lungs
  • Exposure to asbestos
  • Living at a high altitude
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Use of drugs like weight loss medications or methamphetamine and cocaine
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) that treat depression and anxiety
  • Patients who have pump lung may have risk factors for heart diseases, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Is there a cure/medications for pump lung?

There is no cure or medication for pump lung currently. A person diagnosed with a pump lung may receive the following treatments depending on the severity of the condition and the reason.

  • Ventilator support: Patients with pump lung will require extra oxygen. However, high levels of oxygen may cause injury to the lungs. Physicians connect the patient to a ventilator by inserting a tube into the windpipe. 
  • Prone positioning: Patients with pump lung are in bed on their back. Sometimes, they are turned over on their stomach to ensure more oxygen gets into the blood. Physicians follow this process when there is low blood oxygen and high levels of ventilation therapies. 
  • Sedation and medications: A patient with a pump lung needs sedation to prevent agitation and get relief from shortness of breath. Sometimes, physicians give added medications to help the patient adjust to the ventilator.
  • Fluid management: Physicians may give the patient a medication called a diuretic to increase urination. It helps remove excess fluid from the body to prevent it from building up in the lungs.

  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO): This complicated treatment takes blood outside the body and pumps it through a membrane that removes carbon dioxide, adds oxygen, and returns the blood to the body.

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