ARDS, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (Acute Lung Injury)

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Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) occurs when fluid builds up in the tiny, elastic air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs. More fluid in your lungs means less oxygen can reach your bloodstream. This deprives your organs of the oxygen they need to function. ARDS typically occurs in people who are already critically ill or who have significant injuries. Severe shortness of breath, the main symptom of ARDS, usually develops within a few hours to a few days after the original disease or trauma. Many people who develop ARDS don't survive. The risk of death increases with age and severity of illness. Of the people who do survive ARDS, some recover completely while others experience lasting damage to their lungs. Most common symptoms and signs are dyspnea and hypoxemia, which progress to acute respiratory failure. Common causes are pneumonia, sepsis, aspiration, and severe trauma. Diagnostic criteria are acute onset, bilateral infiltrates on CXR, hypoxemia with PaO2-inspired oxygen ratio =200, and no clinical evidence of heart failure. Low tidal volume, plateau-pressure-limited mechanical ventilation is the only therapy that has been shown to reduce mortality. Complications include pneumothorax, ventilator-associated pneumonia, multiple organ failure, and pulmonary fibrosis with prolonged respiratory failure. Mortality is between 30% and 50%.


Laboratory Test Procedures:

rapid breathing
low blood pressure
shortness of breath
difficulty breathing

pO2 (partial pressures of oxygen)
Respiratory (Sputum) Culture
Blood Culture
Urine Culture
Stool Culture
DDxHub Differential Diagnosis online system provides with more lab test procedures...

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