Why does fluid build up around the lungs in congestive heart failure (chf)?

Problem is the heart. In chf, the heart cannot effectively pump blood from the lungs to the systemic circulation. So, the fluid cannot move forward and it thus remains backed up in the lungs. The fluid stays in the lungs because the heart is unable to do its job of pumping that from the lungs to the rest of the body.
Pump failure. When a pump like the heart is failing, fluid backs up behind it. In the body that's where the lungs are. Fluid cannot go through the heart fast enough and so blood accumulates in the lungs causing them to be congested with too much fluid. Air spaces have fluid in them instead of air making the performance of the lungs impaired.
Inadequate pump. The heart is actually 2 pumps. The right side pumps blood to the lungs. This is generally low pressure system so unless there are other reasons the right ventricle tends to function pretty effectively. The left side is the workhorse pump. The left ventricle is a muscle that can pump a large amount of resistance. When it fails the blood backs up into the lungs because the two pumps are in series.

Related Questions

My mom was told she has a blood clot between her lungs and heart, is this serious, and deadly? She has congestive heart failure and copd.

Pulmon art? I'm not clear where the clot is - in the pulmonary artery? It would be helpful if you can ask her doctor for the exact medical terminology. That said, blood clots are generally serious. I assume your mother is receiving appropriate treatment? (anticoagulation). If she's at home, her docs must feel that her condition is stable. If in the hosp, she's in good hands.
Yes. This condition is very serious. But a good specialist can do a lot to reverse this condition. Pray a lot.
Clot. I am assuming she has lung clot (pulmonary embolism). It is treated with blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin). If it is not treated she could be at risk of developing other clots and even death from large clot obstructing blood flow from the heart to the lung.

I recently had pneumonia. I also have congestive heart failure and copd. Now, whenever I just walk to the kitchen, I have chest tightness. What should I do?

Get checked. First of all, get fully evaluated. You have lots of significant health issues and these need close attention from you and your doctor. But keep in mind, pneumonia can frequently take a long time to heal completely, sometimes several months before your strength is fully restored.
Need doctor input. This should be discussed with your doctor as soon as possible, many causes are possible and some are serious. For example blockages in the heart arteries can cause exertion related chest pain, or a collection of fluid around the lung can occur with congestive heart failure (pleural effusion) as well as pneumonia and may even be infected (empyema) other possibilities as well. Would see doctor.
Angina. From your description, it seems that you have angina. Please do talk to your cardiologist.
Could be angina pect. It could be heart pain (angina pectoris) go see a doctor as soon as possible.

My ESR level is 2. I am concerned about congestive heart failure. I have had an EKG and chest x ray, both okay. Is heart failure still a possibility?

Anxiety disorder. This question does not provide sufficient info to exclude heart disease, nor does it provide even a remote suggestion that a 27 year old woman would develop CHF without some severe underlying clinical problem. You are overthinking this and need to find out why the level of concern. After discussing with you doctor you might consider seeing a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. Good luck.
ESR is normal. Although people talk about congestive heart failure being associated with a low ESR (sed rate), there typically is not really a sed rate that is abnormally low. A normal ESR for a young woman, in most labs, is 0-20 mm/hr. The finding of an ESR of 2 should not warrant a heart failure evaluation. If you have no symptoms of heart failure, don't worry.

46 has pnuemonia and just found out she has congestive heart failure. Does this mean every time she gets sick fluid will build up around her lungs?

No. Not neccesarily. Obviously there should be a work up of CHF which includes blood work, echo and stress test.
Not exactly. Patients with congestive heart failure develop fluid in the lung tissue as well as outside the lung as one of the complications of congestive heart failure. When the heart is not pumping effectively is does not empty properly, the blood pressure in the lungs is elevated and fluid leaks out of the vessels into the tissues. This can occur whenever the heart failure worsens, like with an infection.

How to deminish fluid in the lungs due to congestive heart failure?

Why do you have CHF? The answer in part requires your health care provider to determine why you have congestive heart failure and ruling out other possible causes for the fluid, and what other conditions you may have. Among the many important issues: do you have high blood pressure? Any lung disease? Kidney disease? A history of a past heart attack? What's your age? Has treatment been tried before? Did it work?
Diuretics. The most common method is diuretic such as lasix, (furosemide) bumex, or spironolactone. Sodium restriction and rarely dialysis.

My mother has congestive heart failure with kidney failure and fluid build up in her lungs. Been in hospital on & off for 3 months. Death soon?

Depends, The details that matter include how bad are kidneys eg stage 3, 4, 5? And how bad is heart ejection fraction ef, how low? 30, 20, 10? How responsive is she to water pills? Does she have other illnesses (comorbidities)? She sounds certainly very ill. Ask her doc about more information including above questions and the discussion will flow more naturally to better answer the question of longevity.
Mother's prognosis. Your best source of information about your mother's condition is from her physicians (p), as they know her clinical status best of you. You did not provide any information about her lab work or whether she is on dialysis for her kidney failure. Speak to her p's as they know her best of all and can answer your questions in a meaningful manner.