Home
Search in�� ��for��
 
Resources
Career Center
New Hospital Update
Learn More About MCI
Bill Payment
Upcoming Events
Find a Physician
Press Releases
Maps and Directions
Visiting Hours
Medical Services
Specialty Programs and Services
Volunteer Services
H2U
Birthing Center Tours
Clinics
Family Care of Eastern Jackson County
Jackson County Medical Group
Family & Friends
Virtual Body
Virtual Cheercards
Web Babies
Decision Tools
Self-Assessment Tools
Natural and Alternative Treatments Main Index
Health Sources
Cancer InDepth
Heart Care Center
HealthDay News
Wellness Centers
Aging and Health
Alternative Health
Sports and Fitness
Food and Nutrition
Men's Health
Mental Health
Kids' and Teens' Health
Healthy Pregnancy
Medications
Travel and Health
Women's Health
Genus MD
Genus MD
Physician Websites
Legal Disclaimers
Nondiscrimination
Privacy Notice



Send This Page To A Friend
Print This Page

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

(ARDS; Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome; Non-cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema)

 

Definition

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a form of severe lung damage. It happens in people who are very ill or hurt. Most people will be under care in a hospital. It can cause death.

ARDS

exh48461_96472_1

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

 

Causes    TOP

ARDS is caused by small blood vessels that leak fluid into the small air sacs of the lungs. The fluid in the sacs blocks oxygen from passing into the body. ARDS may be caused by direct injury.

This can happen in people with:

  • Pneumonia
  • Sepsis of the lungs
  • Breathing regurgitated stomach matter
  • A bruise of the lung
  • Near-drowning
  • Breathing smoke or certain chemicals
  • Respiratory syncytial virus

Other indirect injuries that may lead to ARDS are:

 

Risk Factors    TOP

The health problems above raise your risk of ARDS.

Other things that may raise your risk are:

  • Smoking
  • Lung disease
  • Alcohol abuse
 

Symptoms    TOP

Signs often start within 24 to 48 hours. They will also worsen with time. It may happen slowly or quickly.

You may have:

  • Problems breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Signs of infection, such as fever or chills
  • Bluish skin or fingernail color
  • Coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
 

Diagnosis    TOP

You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. An exam will be done. If you can’t tell the doctor how you feel, then symptoms and test results will be used.

You will have blood tests. They will look for low oxygen levels, infection, and signs of heart failure.

Pictures will be taken of your chest. This can be done with:

 

Treatment    TOP

If you are able, talk with the doctor about the best plan for you. The goals are to:

  • Treat the cause
  • Help you breathe

Options to help you breathe are:

  • Mechanical ventilation —a machine that helps you breathe; air may be delivered through a tube placed in the windpipe or through an opening made in the neck
  • Non-invasive mask mechanical ventilation—a mask that goes over the mouth and nose and is held in place with straps
  • Oxygen therapy —delivered through a face mask or tube that sits under the nose
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECM)—advanced breathing and heart support (not as common)

Medicines may be used to relax you during these treatments. Oxygen and fluid levels will also be watched closely.

 

Prevention    TOP

ARDS can’t be prevented.

RESOURCES:

American Lung Association
http://www.lung.org

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Health Canada
https://www.canada.ca

The Lung Association
http://www.lung.ca

REFERENCES:

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113803/Acute-respiratory-distress-syndrome-ARDS . Updated July 19, 2018. Accessed August 28, 2018.

Bosma KJ, Lewis JF. Emerging therapies for treatment of acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Expert Opin Emgerg Drugs. 2007;12(3): 461-477.

Explore ARDS. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed August 28, 2018.

Jain R, DaiNogare A. Pharmacological therapy for acute respiratory distress syndrome. Mayo Clin Proc. 2006;81(2):205-212.



Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 8/28/2018

Health References
Health Conditions
Therapeutic Centers


Copyright � 1999-2007
ehc.com; All rights reserved.
Terms & Conditions of Use
Privacy Statement
Medical Center of Independence
17203 E. 23rd St.
Independence,� MO� 64057
Telephone: (816) 478-5000