What are the symptoms of flash pulmonary edema?
Complaints of severe cough and dyspnea are usually the primary symptoms on presentation of flash pulmonary edema with or without chest discomfort. Common findings on physical examination include:
- Tachypnea – with use of accessory muscles of breathing.
- Lung fields – auscultation of crackles in bases and scattered throughout the lung fields, rales or even decreased breath sounds.
- Cardiac exam – possible presence of an S3 indicating an increase in left ventricular end diastolic volume or an S4 gallop coinciding with an increase in left atrial pressure, and a new or changed murmur.
- Jugular venous distension indicating increased filling pressures.
- Systolic Blood pressure – may be markedly elevated. Hypotension suggests left ventricular systolic dysfunction and impending cardiogenic shock.
- Peripheral edema – usually without signs of edema, if present, then associated with longstanding volume expansion.
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