Better Lives With Care.Wallet: Pleural Effusion in the US
Pleural effusion, or what is sometimes called “water on the lungs”, occurs when there is excess fluid built up between the layers of the pleura on the outside of the lungs. The pleura is a thin membrane that lines the surface of your lungs and the inside of your chest wall.
According to the American Thoracic Society, pleural effusions are common, with approximately 1 million cases diagnosed in the United States every year. It’s a serious condition associated with an increased risk of death. In one study, 15 percent of hospitalized people diagnosed with pleural effusions died within 30 days.