Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or ARDS, is a condition that causes the fluid leak into your lungs, blocking oxygen from getting to your organs. It is serious, sometimes life-threatening, and can get worse quickly. But it’s generally treatable and most people can recover from it. Fast diagnosis and treatment are important to your organs need enough oxygen to work right and keep you going. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) occurs when fluid builds up in the tiny, elastic air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs. The fluid keeps your lungs from filling with enough air, which means less oxygen reaches your bloodstream. This deprives your organs of the oxygen they need to function. ARDS typically occurs in people who are already critically ill or who have injuries. Severe shortness of breath the main symptom of ARDS usually develops within a few hours to a few days after the precipitating injury or infection.

Many people who develop ARDS don't survive. The risk of death increases with age and severity of illness of the people who do survive ARDS, some recover completely while others experience lasting damage to their lungs. The signs and symptoms of ARDS can vary in intensity, depending on its cause and severity, as well as the presence of underlying heart or lung disease.

The symptoms include:

Severe shortness of breath

Labored and unusually rapid breathing

Low blood pressure

Confusion and extreme tiredness

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