Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Alternate Names : Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, ARDS
Adult respiratory distress syndrome, which is also called
ARDS, is a breakdown in the function of the lungs that comes on suddenly.
With this condition, there is severe inflammation in the lungs.
This inflammation reduces the lungs' ability to take up oxygen. It may
cause lung or respiratory failure. Although called "adult," ARDS can also
occur in children.
What is going on in the body?
ARDS is usually brought on by some other
serious condition in the body, such as trauma or infection, that directly or indirectly
injures the lung. When a person has ARDS, the lungs and tiny blood vessels
around the lungs become inflamed and swollen. This inflammation interferes
with the lungs' ability to function properly. The lungs have a hard time getting
oxygen into the bloodstream and removing carbon dioxide from the blood.
As inflammation increases, fluid can leak from the blood vessels into the
lungs. As fluid builds up and inflammation increases, the lungs become
stiff and may completely fail to work. .
What are the causes and risks of the disease?
More than 30 percent of people who have
which is a life-threatening infection of the bloodstream, will develop ARDS.
Some of the other causes of ARDS are:
of large amounts of blood
infection of the lungs, such as bacterial or viral
inhaling large amounts of smoke
inhaling toxic fumes, such as those from chlorine or ammonia
inhaling the contents of the stomach, known as
serious inflammation in other parts of the body, such as
prolonged or severe shock
surgery, such as cardiopulmonary bypass
severe trauma to other parts of the body
severe trauma to the lungs, such as from a
to the chest