By Dennis Thompson
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 lady, in her 50s, had fallen prey to what’s changing into higher referred to as a hazard related to open water swimming – fluid on the lungs, or pulmonary edema.
Open water swimming has turn into very talked-about, however mounting proof factors to a hyperlink between the exercise and a situation referred to as swimming-induced pulmonary edema (SIPE), in line with Dr. James Oldman, lead creator of a research printed Jan. 9 in BMJ Case Reviews.
Oldman is a heart specialist with Royal United Hospitals Tub NHS Basis Belief within the U.Ok.
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 instances are more likely 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 danger elements for SIPE, the researchers mentioned. Nevertheless, it typically happens even in those that are in fine condition.
The water temperature was chilly for the lady’s occasion, round 62 levels Fahrenheit, however she was carrying 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 guts muscle, a situation referred to as myocardial edema.
The lady was fortunate, nonetheless. Her signs settled inside two hours after arriving on the hospital, and she or he was discharged the following morning.
Recurrence of SIPE is frequent, and has been reported in 13% to 22% of scuba divers and swimmers – suggesting that some persons are predisposed to the situation, researchers mentioned.
Nobody’s positive what causes SIPE, but it surely’s probably some mixture of elevated blood strain within the lungs, greater blood stream 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 danger, 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.
The Mayo Clinic has extra about pulmonary edema.
SOURCE: BMJ, information launch, Jan. 9, 2022