Lung Disease and Respiratory System
1 AnswerAll coughs are not contagious. However, someone who has had a cough for less than a week may be contagious, particularly if the cough is caused by a virus. When the cough has gone on for more than a week or two, whatever infection was there has probably passed, and what’s left is just the inflammation.
The most worrisome situation would be the chronic cough caused by tuberculosis (TB), where the patient is continually spewing germs out into the air. Fortunately, TB is not very common.
1 AnswerDecongestants work by opening up the nasal passages and reducing inflammation. Sometimes a decongestant will help with a cough. However, decongestants can increase blood pressure, so doctors are reluctant to recommend them for patients who have hypertension (high blood pressure).
There are many decongestants on the market (Sudafed and Actifed, for example). Further, antihistamine medications that have a 'D' at the end of name, such as Allegra-D and Claritin-D, contain decongestants as well.
1 AnswerCoughing can be caused by many conditions, including the following:
- postnasal drip
- irritation from smoking
- sinus conditions
- acid reflux (GERD)
- aspiration (particularly in people who have had a stroke)
1 AnswerResearch has shown that the cause of death in an organ donor should not automatically be an exclusionary criterion for lung transplant consideration. Individual transplant centers evaluate donors on a case-by-case basis and assess the risk and make the best match of donor and recipient.
Based on the study results, it appears that if centers wanted to expand their individual criteria for donation, they could successfully expand their donor pool. Questions around these types of donors or even marginal lungs can be assessed by ex-vivo perfusion (therapy applied to donor lungs outside of the body before transplant that improves organ quality and makes lungs safe for transplant). This should lead to an increase in the number of transplants overall.
1 AnswerResearchers assessed the association between lung donor cause of death and recipient survival, focusing on asphyxiation or drowning as the cause of death.
Out of 18,250 adult primary lung transplants, researchers studied the 309 cases that involved asphyxiation or drowning. They found that although the hospital stay was slightly longer (0.8 days) for recipients of lungs from asphyxiation or drowning deaths when compared with people who received lungs from all other causes of donor death, survival rates were the same, and there were no differences in treatment for rejection within the first year, post-transplant dialysis or post-transplant stroke.
1 AnswerPeople receiving lungs from donors whose cause of death was asphyxiation or drowning have similar outcomes and long-term survival as those receiving lungs from traditional donors. For most people with end-stage lung disease, transplant offers the only hope for survival; however, there remains a critical organ shortage, especially for people on the lung transplant list. Increasing the potential donor pool would help reduce the number of people who die while on the waiting list and help expand this lifesaving treatment to those who need it.
2 AnswersPenn Medicine answeredA hemothorax is a collection of blood in the space between the chest wall. In order to treat a hemothorax, a chest tube, inserted through the chest wall, is used to remove the blood and air in the pleural space. It remains in place for several days to re-expand the lung. When a hemothorax is severe, a thoracotomy may be needed to stop the bleeding.
Early studies show that the use of homeopathy may reduce the symptoms and duration of breathing problems. These conditions include runny nose, sinus swelling, or infections such as the flu. Homeopathy may help treat symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections in children. More studies are needed.
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1 AnswerIntermountain Registered Dietitians , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Intermountain HealthcarePulmonary hypertension in a newborn is when the blood vessels in the lungs don’t open up normally after birth. It causes poor circulation in the lungs and limits the oxygen entering the baby’s bloodstream.