Acute Pulmonary Edema with Respiratory Failure -- Newer Concepts in Therapy

Cordasco, E. M.; Piedad, O.; Kester, J.; Yarnal, J.; Sharpe, I. E.; White Jr., R. E.
October 1982
Angiology;Oct1982, Vol. 33 Issue 10, p655
Academic Journal
The treatment for pulmonary edema with the adult respiratory distress syndrome is aimed at the early supportive management of hypovolemic shock. The addition of massive corticosteroid dosage. Methylprednisolone Succinate, of 30 mg/kg body wt/dose every six hours for a 24-48 hour period has been shown in our investigation to be efficacious, particularly in the traumatic and septic shock groups of patients but not in patients with multiple system diseases. Ventilator care utilizing constant positive pressure breathing or constant positive airway pressure in the patient who has spontaneous respirations is of prime importance. The recent utilization of hyperalimentation has also been very effective as an adjunctive therapy and should be used in the management of this problem in the future in conjunction with the steroids. Hemodynamic monitoring employing the specific parameters as delineated in our discussion are all major steps that should be pursued on a routine basis in the vast majority of these patients. The most important factor in the prognosis of this condition is the severity and number of injuries that have occurred at the time of the initial trauma. Other factors affecting the outcome are age, prolonged shock, associated degenerative cardiovascular disease, metabolic imbalance, severe multiple system involvement, and sepsis. We now feel that the utilization of massive corticosteroid therapy is indicated with the first earliest clinical signs of this condition in order to attempt to prevent complications and probably improve survival rate.


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