Learn about the disease, illness and/or condition Increased-Permeability Pulmonary Edema (ARDS) including: symptoms, causes, treatments, contraindications and conditions at ClusterMed.info.
Increased-Permeability Pulmonary Edema (ARDS)
|Increased-Permeability Pulmonary Edema (ARDS)|
Increased-Permeability Pulmonary Edema (ARDS) Information
ARDS (acute respiratory syndrome) definition and facts*
*ARDS facts Medically Edited by: Melissa Conrad Stoppler, MD
ARDS symptoms and signs
The first signs and symptoms of ARDS are feeling like you can't get enough air into your lungs, rapid breathing, and a low blood oxygen level.Other signs and symptoms depend on the cause of the ARDS. They may occur before ARDS develops. For example, if pneumonia is causing ARDS, you may have a cough and fever before you feel short of breath.Sometimes, people who have ARDS develop signs and symptoms such as low blood pressure, confusion, and extreme tiredness. This may mean that the body's organs, such as the kidneys and heart, aren't getting enough oxygen-rich blood.Most people who develop ARDS are in the hospital for other serious health problems. Rarely, people who aren't hospitalized have health problems that lead to ARDS, such as severe pneumonia.If you have trouble breathing, call your doctor right away. If you have severe shortness of breath, call 9-1-1.
Living with ARDS
Some people fully recover from ARDS. Others continue to have health problems. After you go home from the hospital, you may have one or more of the following problems:
How do doctors diagnose the condition?
Your doctor will diagnose ARDS based on your medical history, a physical exam, and test results.Medical HistoryYour doctor will ask whether you have or have recently had conditions that could lead to ARDS.Your doctor also will ask whether you have heart problems, such as heart failure. Heart failure can cause fluid to build up in your lungs.Physical ExamARDS may cause abnormal breathing sounds, such as crackling. Your doctor will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope to hear these sounds.He or she also will listen to your heart and look for signs of extra fluid in other parts of your body. Extra fluid may mean you have heart or kidney problems.Your doctor will look for a bluish color on your skin and lips. A bluish color means your blood has a low level of oxygen. This is a possible sign of ARDS.Diagnostic TestsYou may have ARDS or another condition that causes similar symptoms. To find out, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests.Initial TestsThe first tests done are:
How is ARDS treated?
ARDS is treated in a hospital's intensive care unit. Current treatment approaches focus on improving blood oxygen levels and providing supportive care. Doctors also will try to pinpoint and treat the underlying cause of the condition.Oxygen TherapyOne of the main goals of treating ARDS is to provide oxygen to your lungs and other organs (such as your brain and kidneys). Your organs need oxygen to work properly.Oxygen usually is given through nasal prongs or a mask that fits over your mouth and nose. However, if your oxygen level doesn't rise or it's still hard for you to breathe, your doctor will give you oxygen through a breathing tube. He or she will insert the flexible tube through your mouth or nose and into your windpipe.Before inserting the tube, your doctor will squirt or spray a liquid medicine into your throat (and possibly your nose) to make it numb. Your doctor also will give you medicine through an intravenous (IV) line in your bloodstream to make you sleepy and relaxed.The breathing tube will be connected to a machine that supports breathing (a ventilator). The ventilator will fill your lungs with oxygen-rich air.Your doctor will adjust the ventilator as needed to help your lungs get the right amount of oxygen. This also will help prevent injury to your lungs from the pressure of the ventilator.You'll use the breathing tube and ventilator until you can breathe on your own. If you need a ventilator for more than a few days, your doctor may do a tracheotomy (tra-ke-OT-o-me).This procedure involves making a small cut in your neck to create an opening to the windpipe. The opening is called a tracheostomy (TRA-ke-OS-to-me). Your doctor will place the breathing tube directly into the windpipe. The tube is then connected to the ventilator.Supportive CareSupportive care refers to treatments that help relieve symptoms, prevent complications, or improve quality of life. Supportive approaches used to treat ARDS include:
What are other names for ARDS?
What are the complications from ARDS?
If you have ARDS, you can develop other medical problems while in the hospital. The most common problems are:
What causes ARDS?
Many conditions or factors can directly or indirectly injure the lungs and lead to ARDS. Some common ones are:
What is ARDS?
ARDS, or acute respiratory distress syndrome, is a lung condition that leads to low oxygen levels in the blood. ARDS can be life threatening because your body's organs need oxygen-rich blood to work well.People who develop ARDS often are very ill with another disease or have major injuries. They might already be in the hospital when they develop ARDS.To understand ARDS, it helps to understand how the lungs work. When you breathe, air passes through your nose and mouth into your windpipe. The air then travels to your lungs' air sacs. These sacs are called alveoli (al-VEE-uhl-eye).Small blood vessels called capillaries run through the walls of the air sacs. Oxygen passes from the air sacs into the capillaries and then into the bloodstream. Blood carries the oxygen to all parts of the body, including the body's organs.In ARDS, infections, injuries, or other conditions cause the lung's capillaries to leak more fluid than normal into the air sacs. This prevents the lungs from filling with air and moving enough oxygen into the bloodstream.As a result, the body's organs (such as the kidneys and brain) don't get the oxygen they need. Without oxygen, the organs may not work well or at all.People who develop ARDS often are in the hospital for other serious health problems. Rarely, people who aren't hospitalized have health problems that lead to ARDS, such as severe pneumonia.If you have trouble breathing, call your doctor right away. If you have severe shortness of breath, call 9-1-1.
What is the prognosis and survival rate for ARDS?
More people are surviving ARDS now than in the past. One likely reason for this is that treatment and care for the condition have improved. Survival rates for ARDS vary depending on age, the underlying cause of ARDS, associated illnesses, and other factors. Some studies estimate that the mortality rate for ARDS is 36% to 52% per 100,000 people, depending upon their current health condition.Some people who survive recover completely. Others may have lasting damage to their lungs and other health problems.Researchers continue to look for new and better ways to treat ARDS.
Who is at risk?
People at risk for ARDS have a condition or illness that can directly or indirectly injure their lungs.Direct Lung InjuryConditions that can directly injure the lungs include:
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