Pleural effusion

Pleural effusion is when fluid collects in the area between the lungs and the chest wall. This area is called the pleural cavity. Because of the fluid buildup, the lungs may not be able to expand completely. This can make it hard to breathe.

Current as ofSeptember 5, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Hasmeena Kathuria, MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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