Acute respiratory distress syndrome

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Description, Cuases and Risk Factors: Abbreivation: ARDS. ICD-9: 518.50 to 518.82. Acute lung injury from a variety of causes, characterized by interstitial and/or alveolar edema and hemorrhage as well as perivascular pulmonary edema associated with hyaline membrane formation, proliferation of collagen fibers, and swollen epithelium with increased pinocytosis. Alternative Name: Adult respiratory distress syndrome, diffuse alveolar damage, noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, increased-permeability pulmonary edema, stiff lung, shock lung. When you breathe, air passes through your nose and mouth into your windpipe. The air then travels to your air sacs. Oxygen passes from the air sacs into the capillaries (blood vessels) and then into the bloodstream. Blood carries the oxygen to all parts of the body, including the body's organs. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is breathing failure that can occur in critically ill persons with underlying illnesses. It is not a specific disease, instead, it is a life-threatening condition that occurs when there is severe fluid buildup in both lungs. The fluid buildup prevents the lungs from working properly. Currently, it is estimated that ARDS occurs in 150,000 patients a year. Despite extensive research, the mortality rate remains high. Some common causes of ARDS include: Breathing vomit into the lungs (aspiration).
  • Inhaling chemicals.
  • Septic shock.
  • Trauma. An injury to the chest or head, like a severe blow.
  • Sepsis. This is a condition in which bacteria infect the bloodstream.
  • Pneumonia. This is an infection in the lungs.
Symptoms: Shortness of breath.
  • Labored, rapid breathing.
  • Low blood pressure or shock (low blood pressure accompanied by organ failure).
  • If pneumonia is causing ARDS, you may have a cough and fever before you feel short of breath.
Symptoms usually develop within in one or two days after original injury or illness. Diagnosis: Acute respiratory distress syndrome may cause abnormal breathing sounds, such as crackling, that suggest fluid in the lungs. Often the blood pressure is low. Blue skin, lips, and nails caused by lack of oxygen to the tissues (cyanosis) is often seen. acute respiratory distress syndrome Tests Include: CBC and blood chemistries.
  • Sputum cultures and analysis.
  • Arterial blood gas (this blood test shows the oxygen level in your blood).
  • Bronchoscopy.
  • Chest x-ray.
Occasionally an echocardiogram or Swan-Ganz catheterization may need to be done to rule out congestive heart failure, which can look similar to ARDS on a chest x-ray. Diagnostic Criteria: 1. Bilateral diffuse infiltrates on chest x-ray (CXR). 2. PaO2/FiO2 ratio < 200. 3. Pulmonary artery wedge pressure (PAWP) is less than 18. Acute Lung Injury: 1. Bilateral diffuse infiltrates on chest x-ray (CXR). 2. PaO2/FiO2 ratio < 200. 3. Pulmonary artery wedge pressure (PAWP) is less than 18. Treatment Options: Treatment of Acute respiratory distress syndrome is supportive and consists primarily of oxygenation and ventilatory support. The goal of treatment is to provide breathing support and treat the underlying cause of ARDS. This may involve medications to treat infections, reduce inflammation, and surgeries to remove fluid from the lungs. Mechanical Ventilation: Acute respiratory distress syndrome patient are usually very difficult to oxygenate, and the non-compliant lungs usually have increased pulmonary pressures. Recent studies have shown that prone positioning of patient with ARDS has improved oxygenation. Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) may be required. Fluids may be given to improve the flow of blood through your body and to provide nutrition. Your doctor will make sure you get the right amount of fluids. Fluids usually are given through an IV line inserted in one of your blood vessels. If you smoke, quit. Smoking can worsen lung problems. Disclaimer: The following tests, drugs and medications, surgical procedures are in some way related to, or used in the treatment. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.

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