Acute pulmonary oedema requires immediate treatment. In the past venesection or venous occlusion was the standard emergency treatment. These procedures are now rarely used because we have the rapidly acting diuretics frusemide (Lasix - Hoechst)1 and ethacrynic acid (Edecrin - MSD),2 but they are still sometimes needed when a diuretic is not to hand or when it is contraindicated, as in patients with renal disease or unrelieved urinary obstruction. Other important measures, such as sitting the patient up, and the use of morphine or aminophylline are not discussed in this article.
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