Acute pulmonary oedema is a life threatening emergency
that requires immediate intervention with a management
plan and an evidence based treatment protocol.
This article describes the features, causes, prevalence and
prognosis of heart failure and the management of acute
Presentations of acute pulmonary oedema and acute heart
failure to general practice require a coordinated and urgent
response. Initial assessment, management and monitoring
should occur concurrently and must be modified in
response to clinical changes.
Acute heart failure (AHF) is a clinical syndrome characterised by the rapid onset and progression of breathlessness and exhaustion. There is usually fluid overload.1 Acute heart failure typically occurs as ‘acute decompensated heart failure’ (ADHF) either secondary to chronic heart failure (CHF) or de novo. The more severe presentations of acute heart failure are acute pulmonary oedema (APO) and cardiogenic shock. In the EuroHeart Failure Survey II2 of patients hospitalised with AHF, 37% had de novo acute heart failure and 16% had APO.
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