The Pus Secretion in Chest or Lungs is Fatal

 Empyema progression seen on chest X-rays over the course of 2 weeks. Pleural empyema (also known as a pyothorax or purulent pleuritis) is an accumulation of pus in the pleural cavity.
Photo Credit- Wikimedia Commons by Nevit Dilmen

The accumulation of pus inside the chest and around the lungs is not a surprise phenomenon. The health services in India are so pathetic that thousands of poor and middle class people are forced to live with this malady.  Neither the people are aware of the problem not the medical fraternity is serious about it. The afflicted people do not know where to go and there is no one to give them proper advice. As a result the problem gets overlooked on one hand and the wrong treatment begins on the other. In the end the patient loses the lung or life.

What is the problem actually?


There lies an empty space between the lungs and chest. This space gets filled when the lungs inflate during breathing. This is called the plural space in medical terminology. The emphysema thoracic occurs when pus or water or sap gets accumulated in this vacant space due to some reasons. In such condition it is better to consult some thoracic surgeon instead of a general surgeon and start the treatment under the former.
This AP chest x-ray revealed the presence of a right fibrothorax, which was thought to be due to a previous empyema. An empyema, or pus-filled cavity located between the two pleural membranes, i.e., parietal and visceral pleurae, can give rise to fibrotic changes as the infection resolves, much like a scar formation, which appears as a denser area on x-ray.
Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons by  Dr. Thomas Hooten

Why pus accumulates


The infection due to pneumonia is the biggest reason for the secretion of pus in chest in which water accumulates around the lungs.
The second reason is the that the pus secreted inside the lungs pierces the lungs and comes out to the plural space or the empty space between the lungs and chest and gets accumulated around the lungs. Sometimes this situation also arises when a tube or a pipe is put inside the lungs.
The third reason is the infection of tuberculosis in lungs. In this situation the pale water gets accumulating around the lungs in the very beginning. In presence of bacteria this pale water turns into pus. Even after repeated removals by syringe, this pale water of tuberculosis again turns into pus. If the amount of pale water is more than 500 ml and is left in the chest then there are the chances of it to get converted into the pus. So it is better to consult the thoracic surgeon, start the treatment of tuberculosis, and get the pale water removed by tube or syringe, whenever the amount of pale water inside the lungs is more than 400 to 500 ml.
The chest injury is another reason for the accumulation of pus. Generally the lungs get injured during road or other accidents or in case of fracture of ribs and the blood accumulate around the lungs. The infection occurs and the formation of pus begins, if the blood is not removed through the tube and is left in the chest.

There are other reasons for the accumulation of pus like bursting of food pipe inside the chest due to esophagus and the infection of spine or the arising of the situation of bronco-plural fistula after the operation of lungs.

Beware of Rains in Asthma


The intake of light food is advisable for those having asthma. The heavy food causes loss of breath and the patient should also avoid tensions and severe sensations like worries, fear etc. All these things induce the fits of asthma.

Perform some breathing exercises daily and massage the chest with mustard oil to get relief in asthma.

Make a habit of taking 2-3 pillows while sleeping as it gives relief and alleviates the effect of the fit of asthma.

Take easily digestible foods like moong daal or mung bean, arhar daal or pigeon pea, torai or ridged gourd etc.

Inhaler is the best option in asthma.

The patient of asthma should spend more and more time in open air and complete light.
Take fresh and clean water.

A weekly fast is the best in asthma.

Avoid acidic foods like carbohydrates, fats and proteins or reduce the intake to the minimum.

Take raw vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, carrot and salads in lunch and dinner.
Take dinner before sunset or two hours before going to bed as it helps to alleviate the effects of indigestion.

In India another important reason for the increase in the instances of secretion of pus in the chest is the lever abscess. With lever infection the pus accumulates in the lever due to old or chronic dysentery. If not cured this abscess goes on increasing and bursts. This bursting generally occurs in the upward direction towards chest and the pus accumulates in chest. This is a dangerous situation leading to death in absence of cure by thoracic surgeon.

The Statistics 

In India, about 200,000 new patients become afflicted with this malady every year out of which 40% die in absence of proper cure, while 36% patients remain afflicted with the complications of the disease.The old age deaths with this disease is whopping 75%. It shows the crumbling health system and the amount of carelessness prevalent regarding emphysema thoracic in India.

How to Detect the Pus in Chest


The chief symptom is 24 hours fever in which the temperature remains less in daytime but increases at night. Profuse sweating occurs during and after the fever. Permanent cough with negligible or no phlegm. Severe pain occurs in chest during coughing. Immediately consult the doctor and get the X-ray of the chest, if recently afflicted with pneumonia one month back or so or had a chest injury or chronic fever occurs. Take X-ray in standing position. Get the ultrasound of the chest from an experienced radiologist, if the X-ray creates the doubt of pus secretion in chest or there is some whiteness chest. The ultrasound confirms the presence and amount of pus in chest and will help in proper treatment.