ARDS commonly occur due to lung injuries:
- Major trauma and burn injuries that may directly damage the lungs and inflame them
- Head, chest, or other major injuries
- Sepsis (a life-threatening condition when chemicals are released into the bloodstream by your immune system to fight off infection)
- Pneumonitis (swelling of the air sacs as a reaction to several agents)
- Injury to the head, chest, or other organs of your body
- Massive blood transfusions
- Pancreatitis (severe inflammation of the pancreas)
- Near drowning
- Aspiration (breathing food into your lungs)
- Viral infections such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), herpes simplex virus (HSV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV)
- Breathing in harmful things, chemical fumes, and smoke
- Drug overdoses such as cocaine and opioids
- Medication side effect
Your risk of ARDS may increase if you have
What does ARDS mean?
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is dangerous lung damage that allows fluid to leak into the lung air sacs (alveoli). This hampers the oxygen transfer process at the lung level. The body organs such as the kidney and brain stop working. The person will experience severe breathing difficulties, which will require immediate artificial oxygen support to help them breathe. It is an emergency condition and requires immediate medical attention.
It can worsen quickly, usually developing within a few hours to a few days of the injury or infection. Chances of survival in people who develop ARDS depends on the age and severity of their co-existing medical issues. However, with time, treatments are improving, and more people survive ARDS now than they did in the past. Although many survive, there may be some lung damage in many individuals.
Fast diagnosis and treatment in ARDS are very important for the survival of patients.
What are the symptoms of ARDS?
If you have acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), your symptom may vary in intensity, depending on its cause and severity, as well as the presence of an underlying heart or lung disease.
What are the complications?
- Blood clots
- Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
- Infections due to tubes inserted into your windpipe
- Pulmonary fibrosis (scarring and thickening of the tissue between the air sacs that stiffen your lungs, making it even more difficult for oxygen)
- Breathing problems
- Problems with memory and thinking clearly
- Tiredness and muscle weakness
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American Lung Association https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/ards
Cleveland clinic https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15283-acute-respiratory-distress-syndrome-ards
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