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Lung diseases

Pneumonia/blood in lungs

03/10/2006

Question:

Hello Doctor, My aunt started off having pneumonia..She then had problems breathing her oxygen level dropped...She is now in the ICU with tubes all over the place...The doctors say she has fluid and blood in her lungs...they keep asking if she drinks alcohol but she does not drink and never had a drink in her life..and now she has a UTI also,....What is causing the blood and fluid in her lungs...Will she recover or is this serious...Please Help! Thank you..

Answer:

Hemorrhage or bleeding in the lung may occur with different types of pneumonia.  Some bacterial pneumonias such as those caused by gram negative organisms can cause bleeding.  Other types of pneumonia that can cause hemorrhage include fungal infections, tuberculosis.  Other processes that can cause bleeding in the lungs include pulmonary emboli (blood clots to the lungs), vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels in the lungs), and mechanical irritation from the endotracheal tube that is connected to the ventilator.

Fluid in the lungs can occur in different forms of lung injury or acute respiratory distress syndrome, congestive heart failure, or fluid overload.

I am not sure about the alcohol questions.  Some patients in the ICU have unusual reactions that are similar to alcohol withdrawal and it sounds like her physicians want to make sure they are getting a complete history.  The best way to find out why they are asking, is to ask them directly.

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Response by:

Ralph   Panos, MD Ralph Panos, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati