Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Expert Forum
COPD
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COPD
What is causing fluid to build up around the lungs and heart? My wife has COPD and is in the hospital. She was about to come off the ventilator and then all of a sudden they had to jack it up to 18 again and they said her co2 was high. They also said there was a lot of fluid around the lungs. What is causing the fluid build up????
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242588 tn?1224275300
I am sorry to hear that your wife is so seriously ill.  There are many possible causes of fluid build-up around the lungs.  It can be caused by infection, heart failure, blood clots to the lungs, a large collection of fluid in the abdomen called ascites that then “leaks” into the chest around the lungs, and kidney failure to name a few.  One can establish the cause of fluid in the lung, with a fair degree of certainty by removing fluid from the chest and sending it to the laboratory for cultures, chemical analyses, and microscopic examination.  Your wife’s doctors should withdraw and examine the fluid and be able to answer your question.  Then, knowing the cause of the fluid build-up they will be able to provide the treatment necessary to keep it from accumulating.

The elevated carbon dioxide (C02) is an indication of respiratory failure, which is the inability of one’s lungs to excrete carbon dioxide and take up oxygen.  This is probably due to a combination of your wife’s chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and the fluid around her lungs.

Good luck.
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