The orthopnea

The orthopnea - severe shortness of breathassociated with stagnation in the small circle of blood, in which the patient can not be forced to sit. While sitting venous congestion is moved to the lower limbs, thus reducing the blood supply of a small circle and of facilitating the work of the heart, gas exchange, reduced oxygen starvation. The head end of the bed of a patient should be raised, or the patient needs a chair.

The orthopnea (orthopnoe; from the Greek. orthos - rose, rose and pnoe - breathing) - the highest degree of apnea, in which the patient can not lie down and accept forced sitting position. The orthopnea depends on circulatory failure, and what more pronounced decompensation, the more vertical position of the patient. Sometimes it is enough to lift the head end of the bed and the patient is improving; in other cases, the patient had all day to sit in a chair. The orthopnea most often found in the development of left ventricular failure heart disease, and other coronarocardiosclerosis
The position of the body when Acting creates in patients with heart damage more favourable terms of circulation: venous congestion in the lower extremities and the portal vein leads to a reduction of blood flow to the heart and blood vessels of the small circle; the ground clearance of the alveoli increases, which leads to increase lung capacity.
Improving gas exchange in the lungs when the Acting is also achieved due to more active participation of the diaphragm and the muscles of respiration in the act of respiration. Reduction of pulmonary congestion reduces reflex stimulation of the respiratory centre, and a better gas exchange in the lungs, to some extent reduces oxygen starvation of tissues of the body, including the myocardium, which improves contractility of the heart and reduces shortness of breath. In addition, orthopnea reduces cerebral venous congestion, thereby facilitating the work of the centres of blood circulation and breathing.
Cm. also Shortness of breath.