Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS): Diagnosis, Causes & Treatment

Acute Respiratory

What is Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)?

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a life-threatening disease, wherein fluid builds up in the lungs and makes it difficult for them to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. It is a common complication seen in patients with severe infections, such as the novel coronavirus and pneumonia.

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Diagnosis of ARDS

Patients suspected of having ARDS will undergo several tests including imaging studies, chest X-rays, lung biopsy, and blood oxygen levels measurements to confirm the diagnosis.

Causes of ARDS

The exact cause of ARDS is not known, but it is believed to be a complication of severe infections, such as the novel coronavirus and pneumonia. Other factors that can increase the risk of developing ARDS include smoking, trauma, drug overdose, major surgery, and sepsis (blood poisoning).

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Treatment of ARDS

The treatment of ARDS involves supplemental oxygen delivered through a mask or other respiratory assistance device and medications to reduce the swelling in the lungs. In some cases, doctors may prescribe antibiotics or antiviral medications to treat the underlying infection.


Patients with ARDS need to be closely monitored by healthcare professionals. Patients should be sure to follow doctor’s orders and take all medications as prescribed for maximum benefit. In addition, it is important for patients to maintain adequate nutrition and hydration, and get plenty of rest.

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By understanding the diagnosis, causes and treatments of ARDS, we can better equip ourselves with the knowledge necessary to help reduce the risk of this life-threatening condition.

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