My father 84 has a heart murmmer a leaky heart valve and was told he has some fluid on the lungs. Can anyone suggest something I can do so he can rest easier? He can only lie down for short pieroids of time. He has a hacking cough and last night he had a bowl of cerial (he eats very little) and could still feel it until about 1am. I don't want to take him back to the hospital unless it is urgent. Is there anything I can do to make him feel better?
To help him rest easier try setting up a sleeping arrangement so that he is not lying down. He should be in a half seated position with good support. Often this can be done using a recliner.
To make your father feel better check with his doctor to see if it is possible to remove the fluid from his lungs with medicine. "Drying out" the lungs with medicine is not possible with some heart problems.
This is a common condistion with cardiac patients. Its called Congestive Heart Failure. You will find this in patients especially with hypertension and leaky valves.
The fluid in your fathers lungs is caused by blood backing up through his heart, into the Pulmonary vein. The blood then begins to seep into the lungs, but not so much as frank blood...but as clear/bubbly fluid. Patients tend to have a congested non-productive cough. If they do cough anything up, it appears white and frothy...sometimes pink if severe.
Lay flat is extremely uncomfortable for these patients. Its called Orthopnia. All the fluid in the lungs are gravity dependant and usually will lay around the bottom parts of the lungs. When you lie flat, the fluid migrates upward, and causes more shortness of breath. So, proppinh him up on pillows in bed is suffient.
When your dad gets short of breath, its very important to have him rest. Have him pace himself when doing any activity. Also, its good to practice "Pursed Lip Breathing". Tell him to pucker his lips when he exhales (as if blowing out candles) This causes back pressure behind the lips that is transmitted to the lungs. This pressure can actually push some of that fluid back into the circulatory system.
You dad may also need to be evaluated for oxygen therapy. Ask his doctor about that. He also may benifit from nocturnal CPAP.
I found your website and thought I'd write in hopes of finding some answers.
I've had a chronic cough for 6 months now. It started the 3rd week of January when I had the flu very bad. In fact, I'd say it was the worst I ever had the flu. Well, the flu cleared up within a few days and I had sinusitis for about two weeks but the cough stayed on and on. At first it was very, very thick, to the point that is was difficult to even cough up anything if possible. After two months of this I decided to have a doctor visit who put me on antibiotics of course. After another two months of coughing I went back to the doctor who then experimented with alergy pill and a negative xray and a breathing test of some kind (negative). After several weeks of that futile attempt I made another visit and he tried Pulmicort and a cortizone shot. This helped but still coughing. So he tested me for TB which came out negative according to him but wanted me visit a pulminary specialist who stated that I did have TB and the test was indeed positive. So now I'm taking an antibacterial for nine months but still have a cough. So the pulminary specialist gave me several inhalers: one similar to pulmicort and the other looks like something for someone with athsma. Unfortunately, I'm still coughing and none of this has helped much. I quit inhaling the power stuff because of it's horrible side effects on my voice. You see, I'm a singer in a band. For 6 months now I haven't been able to sing without coughing and coughing. I lose my voice very early in the evening and sound like I can't even sing at all ! I'm about to just give it all up because I can't see to sing without coughing and finding it difficult to breath. Please I'm open to any advice as the doctors don't seem to be helping and seem to just appease me. They tell me it's athletes athsma. That's just the weirdest thing I ever heard of because I didn't have it before I caught the flu and now I have it? Granted, the illness has deminished somewhat but still a huge problem. Like I implied, I'm about to quit the band altogether because I'm so tired of coughing everday!!
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