Condition in which fluid collects in the air sacs of the lungs, depriving organs of oxygen.Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) can occur in those who are critically ill or who have significant injuries. It is often fatal, the risk increasing with age and severity of illness.


Essentials of Diagnosis:-
• Dyspnoea, tachypnoea, anxiety, altered sensorium.
• Arterial hypoxaemia with hypocapnoea.
• Diffuse alveolar and interstitial infiltrates on chest X-
• Decreased pulmonary compliance, i.e. arterial
oxygen saturation does not increase inspite of increasingly high concentration of inspired oxygen.



-Hospitalise the patient.
-Treat underlying cause.
-High flow oxygen via mask or endotracheal tube.If despite this PaO2 is not maintained, or If respiratory failure then.
-Mechanical ventilation with large tidal volume (15ml/kg) or positive end expiratory pressure method.
-Fluid balance by Saline or Ringer’s lactate 20-25 ml/kg/day IV.
-Broad spectrum antibiotics for suspected site of sepsis.
-Injection Lasix 40-80 mg IV. Low dosage Dopamine to maintain satisfactory urine output.

Risk factors:-

Most people who develop ARDS are already hospitalized for another condition, and many are critically ill. You’re especially at risk if you have a widespread infection in your bloodstream (sepsis).

People who have a history of chronic alcoholism are at higher risk of developing ARDS. They’re also more likely to die of ARDS.

Complications :-

If you have ARDS, you can develop other medical problems while in the hospital. The most common problems are:

  • Blood clots. Lying still in the hospital while you’re on a ventilator can increase your risk of developing blood clots, particularly in the deep veins in your legs. If a clot forms in your leg, a portion of it can break off and travel to one or both of your lungs (pulmonary embolism) — where it blocks blood flow.
  • Collapsed lung (pneumothorax). In most ARDS cases, a breathing machine called a ventilator is used to increase oxygen in the body and force fluid out of the lungs. However, the pressure and air volume of the ventilator can force gas to go through a small hole in the very outside of a lung and cause that lung to collapse.
  • Infections. Because the ventilator is attached directly to a tube inserted in your windpipe, this makes it much easier for germs to infect and further injure your lungs.
  • Scarring (pulmonary fibrosis). Scarring and thickening of the tissue between the air sacs can occur within a few weeks of the onset of ARDS. This stiffens your lungs, making it even more difficult for oxygen to flow from the air sacs into your bloodstream.


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