How is pulmonary edema treated in heroin toxicity?

Updated: Dec 16, 2018
  • Author: Rania Habal, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Answer

Noncardiogenic pulmonary edema (NCPE), which affects 0.3-2.4% of heroin overdoses, generally lasts 24-48 hours and responds to supportive care. In most instances, hypoxia improves with mask oxygen ventilation only, but noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation (NIPPV) and endotracheal intubation may be required. Endotracheal intubation is indicated for airway protection, severe hypoxia, acidosis, and cardiovascular instability.


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