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Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

July 12, 2012  by: Dr. Simran Kaur  Points: 12   Category: Health  Earning $0.20   Views: 385

Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a kind of respiratory disease in which there occurs damage to the alveolar epithelium and pulmonary capillary endothelium.


Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a kind of respiratory disease in which there occurs damage to the alveolar epithelium and pulmonary capillary endothelium. Due to the damage to the alveolar epithelium and pulmonary capillary endothelium, high protein content fluid gets collected in the alveolar spaces and causes oedema.


1. Pulmonary infections.

2. Aspiration of vomitus.

3. Drowning.

4. Inhalation of hazardous gases.

5. Over dosage of narcotic drugs.

6. Side effects of some medicines.

7. Shock, septicaemia.

8. Cardiopulmonary bypass, lung emboli.


1. Disease has acute onset, bilateral pulmonary infiltrates and pulmonary artery wedge pressure is less than 18 mm Hg.

2. Acute respiratory distress syndrome consists of three phases-

i) Exudative phase which lasts for one to three days.

ii) Proliferative phase which lasts for three to seven days.

iii) Fibrotic phase in some cases only.

3. Profound hypoxemia.

4. Tachypnoea followed by dyspnoea in early days of disease.

5. As the disease progress, there occurs, cyanosis, dyspnoea becomes worse and also the tachypnoea. Crepitations and tubular breath sounds becomes more prominent and heard easily.

6. Hypotension, blood gas abnormalities.


1. Chest x-ray.

2. Arterial blood gas study.

3. CT scan.


1. Treat underlying cause responsible for the acute respiratory distress syndrome.

2. Avoid secondary lung injury and also maintain adequate amount of oxygen delivery to end organs. Correct hypoxemia. Treat infections that are present.

3. Diet therapy.

4. Maintain body fluid and electrolyte balance.

5. Medicines to treat the disease under doctor’s guidance.


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