Swimmers Face a Little Identified Hazard: Fluid on the Lungs



By Dennis Thompson 

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Jan. 10, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — The swimmer got here to shore struggling to breathe and coughing up blood.

A eager aggressive long-distance swimmer and triathlete, the lady was match and wholesome when she began a nighttime open water swim occasion.

However a pair weeks earlier, she’d had respiration difficulties throughout one other open water swim that had compelled her to desert the occasion. She’d felt breathless for days after.

The girl, in her 50s, had fallen prey to what’s turning into higher often called a hazard related to open water swimming – fluid on the lungs, or pulmonary edema.

Open water swimming has turn into extremely popular, however mounting proof factors to a hyperlink between the exercise and a situation known as swimming-induced pulmonary edema (SIPE), in line with Dr. James Oldman, lead writer of a examine revealed Jan. 9 in BMJ Case Reviews.

Oldman is a heart specialist with Royal United Hospitals Bathtub NHS Basis Belief within the U.Okay.

First reported in 1989, SIPE leaves swimmers struggling to attract breath as fluid collects within the air sacs of the lungs. It impacts an estimated 1% to 2% of open water swimmers, however circumstances are prone to be underreported, Oldman and his colleagues wrote.

Older age, lengthy distances, chilly water, feminine gender, hypertension and coronary heart illness are among the many threat components for SIPE, the researchers mentioned. Nevertheless, it typically happens even in those that are in good condition.

The water temperature was chilly for the lady’s occasion, round 62 levels Fahrenheit, however she was sporting a wetsuit, researchers famous. However, by about 300 yards of swimming her signs had began.

She was rushed to a hospital, the place a chest X-ray revealed pulmonary edema. Worse, the fluid had infiltrated the center muscle, a situation known as myocardial edema.

The girl was fortunate, nevertheless. Her signs settled inside two hours after arriving on the hospital, and he or she was discharged the following morning.

Recurrence of SIPE is widespread, and has been reported in 13% to 22% of scuba divers and swimmers – suggesting that some individuals are predisposed to the situation, researchers mentioned.

Nobody’s certain what causes SIPE, nevertheless it’s doubtless some mixture of elevated blood stress within the lungs, larger blood circulation throughout bodily exertion, and chilly climate inflicting blood vessels to constrict, researchers mentioned.

The researchers advise folks vulnerable to SIPE to swim at a slower tempo with different folks in hotter water. To additional decrease their threat, these swimmers ought to keep away from tight-fitting wetsuits and shouldn’t take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen.

These experiencing signs for the primary time ought to instantly cease swimming and get out of the water. Sit upright, and if signs persist name for medical help.

Extra info

The Mayo Clinic has extra about pulmonary edema.



SOURCE: BMJ, information launch, Jan. 9, 2022



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