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Pulmonary edema describes a condition where fluid gathers in the tissues of the lung because of a malfunction of the heart or an injury to the lungs. As a result, the ability of the lungs to expand and to transfer oxygen and carbon dioxide is slowly compromised, leading to hypoxia, coma and death. The only treatment is oxygen until the underlying cause of the edema can be determined and treated.
It is usually accompanied by respiratory distress, coughing up blood, sweating, anxiety and pale skin. Other indications include generalized edema or fluid buildup, such as frequent urination during the night.