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Write An Essay On Pleural Effusion

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In layman’s terms, pleural effusion is simply fluid in the pleural space. However, pleural effusion is so much more than that. It is caused by a variety of mechanisms, has two different classifications, and can cause varying degrees of symptoms and complications. Patients with pleural effusion are ripe for diagnostic radiography, as it is often the best source of information about their condition and it’s severity. Pleural effusion is defined by Liz Allibone as “an abnormal collection of fluid in the pleural space caused by a variety of mechanisms.” The pleural space is a cavity between the chest wall and the lung that consists of two layers, the parietal pleura and the visceral pleura. These two layers normally have pleural fluid within them to reduce friction during respiration. Allibone quotes about normal pleural fluid levels that “…it is suggested that there is around 0.2-0.4 ml/kg in a healthy adult.”…show more content…
Pleural effusion has two major classifications: transudates and exudates. Transudate pleural effusions usually present bilaterally and are caused by a larger, systemic condition that does not effect the porousness of the pleural capillaries. An example of a systemic condition that would cause a transudate pleural effusion would be left ventricular failure. Exudate pleural effusions normally present unilaterally and occur when there is a change in porousness of the pleural capillaries. These types of pleural effusions are much more common and can range in cause from a side effect to certain medicines to a respiratory infection such as pneumonia. They can also be caused by trauma, which produces a hemothorax, or blood in the pleural
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