FAQ - Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated
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Can anyone explain why the body swells so much while on a ventilator and in a medical induced coma?

My Father-in-law has bone cancer (mulitple myaloma). I believe that is how you say it. Anyway, he was in his second treatment of six monthly treatments of Chemo when he got pneumonia. He is in the hospital in a medically induced coma. He has been for four days and he is not getting any better due to the chemo breaking down his immune system. There is nothing to fight the disease. His body is so incredibly swollen. Is it caused from the oxygen or what? Can anyone help me understand?

There are several factors contribute to this.
First, the effect of the mechanical ventilation has the greater effect on the swelling. As most of the ventilator nowadays work in the principle of positive pressure hence, reduce the venous return(blood from the peripheries) to the heart. It builds up the pressure within the venous system(veins) causing the water content of the blood seeping into the tissue space, resulting in swelling. It is more pronounced if the person has already been septic in which condition the blood capillaries are more permeable to water contents that easily seeps out to tissue space . A low albumin in this situation may further aggrevate the condition as albumin in the blood is responsible to maintain the water contents of the blood within the blood vessels.
Second factor is lack of mobility due to sedation. The better you mobile, the better you get rid off the swelling. Because the skeletal muscles are important to promote the venous return to heart and when it is not used, it can not assist with that function.
There are other few factors also cantribute to swelling such as poor kidney function. Severe sepsis can cause multiple organ failure including the kidney function. During this situation, you need more fluids(IV fluids,blood and plasma) to counteract the effect of sepsis. The person may swell easily up if kidney is not getting rid off the fluid as urine.
There are measures like compressive boots and sockins used but, swelling becomes inevitable when the person is septic,mechanically ventilated and sedated.
Hope, this helps  (+ info)

What is the mortality rate for an 83 year old with double pneumonia on a ventilator?

This question is for healthcare professionals or people with prior experience.

My Father is currently hospitalized with double pneumonia. He's currently on a ventilator (2nd day), with a feeding tube and receiving antibiotics.

Does he have a chance at a full recovery?

Any rude or snide answers will reported.
Additional info:

He was a smoker 30 years go, but he does have emphysema.

He is not a vigorous, active octogenarian, he's more sedatary, prefering to sit in his chair read or watch TV.

There are a number of strikes against your father. He has bilateral pneumonia, meaning that there is a greater amount of lung tissue that is damaged and cannot participate in gas exchange. He is 83, and therefore his immune function is diminished, compared with a younger adult. And he is on a respirator, meaning that he has fatigued and is haveing trouble breathing on his own. So now it comes down to asking: "What was his underlying condition?" Was he a smoker with emphysema? Was he the "frail elderly?" Or was he a vigorous, active octogenarian? The better his health and the stronger he was prior to becoming ill, the better the chance of recovery.

Finally, is the repsirator doing its job of providing his with oxygen? If they have to constantly adjust the settings in order to keep his oxygen levels up to normal, then that is a worrisome sign. If they are able to "dial back" the settings because his oxygenation is good, then that's a good sign. So you see, this is not a one-time question. It's a dynamic process with set-backs and improvements. FWIW, I've seen ventilator patients take up to a month to get off the ventilator. (And then go back to smoking!)  (+ info)

My brother is having a hard time weaning off a ventilator. He has a trac - in ICU for PCP pneumonia. Tips?

My brother has been on a ventilator for over 3 weeks. 1st with a tube down his throat - under heavy sedation - and now with a trac. He is in ICU for PCP pneumonia (AIDS) - and having a very hard time weaning from the ventilator. The RT says he fights the ventilator. He says he feels like he is drowning. Any tips for him? He gets so anxious and scared :(......

I'm sure they're doing everything they can for him. But it sounds like they're trying to wean him too quickly. Ask the pulmonologist if the pneumonia is clearing. If it is then it's time to wean him off the vent but you must do it slowly. And ask them to give him something for the anxiety. I know they will say, the medication will slow down his breathing and we won't be able to wean him. This is bs. There are antianxiety meds that have no effect on the respiratory system.
God bless him and you for caring so much. May He help you both through this difficult time.  (+ info)

Why would someone be on ventilator?

my friend is on ventilator since yesterday and I am so worried.
he has pneumonia plus being already a severe asthmatic.
I wonder how long will he be on it & why does he have to be on it?

He may be having trouble breathing on his own because of the pneumonia. If his oxygen levels are low they may have decided he needed some help. After his condition improves they can wean him off it. Nothing to worry about.  (+ info)

My dad is on a ventilator with ARDS?

I am 15 and he has pneumonia and now has ARDS, he is on a ventilator in ICU. Can anyone tell me about similar experiences with this disease and ventilation?

ARDS can be a very serious, life-threatening condition.
In general, patients need to remain on the ventilator for quite some time, often times several weeks while the inflammation settles down.

Some folks recover without any permanent damage.
Some people do not recover and cannot come off of the ventilator.
Some folks recover but have some residual lung damage that can require treatment with oxygen at home.

Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to figure out what path any particular patient is going to take.

You can check out:

for more info.  (+ info)

How long can a person stay on a ventilator after heart bypass surgery?

My father had bypass surgery Friday and is still on the ventilator.

I'm very sorry to hear about your father. Whether or not he comes off the ventilator really depends on what else is going on with him. Is he stable otherwise? Are they keeping him sedated? Is he on many IV drips supporting his heart? Does he have COPD or asthma? How old is he and how is his health otherwise?
To be very honest with you, from personal experience, I"ve had a patient on the ventilator after bypass for months, because there were MANY complications. However, there is a large amount of people who are only on the ventilator for a few hours after surgery.
(I'm sorry I don't know how old you are. Can you talk directly to the physician or do you need to get information from your mother?) If you're an adult and have priviledge to his medical information, stay with your father and speak to the doctors when they round. (if visitation is restricted, ask the nurse to send the physician to the waiting room to speak to you, or even have the physician call you at home.) Ask them what they expect, and how long he'll likely be on the ventilator, and ask why he's been on this long. Your father likely has an intensivist or a pulmonologist on his medical case now that will be able to answer your questions thoroughly.  (+ info)

Does a paralyzed person need a ventilator to breathe?

This is a biology question relating to respiratory volumes.

A ventilator is a piece of medical equipment that maintains respiratory movements in a person who is unable to breathe unaided. In a young, otherwise healthy patient paralyzed as a result of a car crash, should a ventilator be adjusted to maximize the volume of airr inhaled and exhaled? Explain.


In answer to your original question, it all depends at what level the pt is paralyzed at. A paraplegic (both legs) will not need ventilation. A quadriplegic (both legs and arms) will most likely need a ventilator.  (+ info)

What are the chances of someone living after being taken off of a ventilator?

A close family friend is being taken off of her ventilator today. She has been on life support for a couple of weeks now. She hasnt been able to take more than 3 breaths on her own. What are the chances of her living?

I would need more information. Is she a trauma patient? Does she have end stage COPD? Something else?

It is very hard to get a COPD patient off a ventilator. There is a chance for them to continue but its less then if they were a trauma patient.

Because you emailed me new information, I would say very good chance for living after being taken off the ventilator.  (+ info)

How Long Can The Hospital Keep A Baby In A Ventilator For?

Someone i know has had a baby at 28-29 weeks, obviously its premature, how long would they/can they keep the baby in a ventilator to aid its breathing, etc?

Thanks in advanced to whoever can answer my question.

My son was born at 25 weeks and was on and off the vent for three months. They will keep the baby on the vent as long as the baby is alive. They use a blood test they call "gasses" to see if the baby has good blood oxegen levels and also check the babies respritory rate or "overbreathing of the vent" to see when to wean the vent. Feel free to email or im me with any questions you may have about preemies, I'd be happy to help!  (+ info)

What is the difference between Pneumonia and Walking Pneumonia?

What is the difference between the two?

I bet in a decade there will be Jogging Pneumonia and Sprinting Pneumonia. How about Galloping or Skipping Pneumonia? haha.
Why do they call it 'walking' Pneumonia, anyways?

Pneumonia is acute inflammation of the lungs caused by infection. Initial diagnosis is usually based on chest x-ray. Causes, symptoms, treatment, preventive measures, and prognosis differ depending on whether the infection is bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic; whether it is acquired in the community, hospital, or nursing home; and whether it develops in a patient who is immunocompetent or immunocompromised.
An outdated term, "walking pneumonia", has been used to describe a type of community-acquired pneumonia of less severity (hence the fact that the patient can continue to "walk" rather than require hospitalization). Walking pneumonia is usually caused by a virus or by atypical bacteria.  (+ info)

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