Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Acute Respiratory

Overview of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a serious medical condition that affects the lungs. In ARDS, the air spaces within the lungs fill up with fluid leading to an inability to provide enough oxygen to the body. Symptoms include shortness of breath, laboured breathing, and even chest pain. Most cases of ARDS are caused by sepsis, trauma, or aspiration. Treatment typically involves supportive measures such as ventilatory support, which may help improve the patient’s chances of survival.

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What Are the Causes of ARDS?

ARDS can be caused by a variety of different things, ranging from infection and trauma to aspiration. The most common cause of ARDS is sepsis, which is an infection that spreads throughout the body and can cause a variety of serious health problems. Other causes include trauma, aspiration, certain medications, and certain lung diseases.

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What Are the Symptoms of ARDS?

Patients with ARDS typically have shortness of breath, rapid breathing, and chest pain. Other symptoms may include fatigue, confusion, and cyanosis.

How Is ARDS Diagnosed and Treated?

ARDS is typically diagnosed through imaging tests such as chest X-rays or computed tomography (CT) scans, along with a physical examination. Treatment typically involves supportive measures such as ventilatory support, which may help improve the patient’s chances of survival. In some cases, patients may require supplemental oxygen or other medications.

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ARDS and Health

People with ARDS are at an increased risk of mortality, even with aggressive treatment. Survivors are at risk for long-term health problems, such as persistent fatigue, cognitive impairment, and even depression. It is important for patients who have recovered from ARDS to work with their healthcare team to follow a healthy lifestyle and manage any long-term health issues that may arise.

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