Having Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome is no joke. Some have even compared adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) to lung cancer and still can’t tell which is worse.
What is Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome?
Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome is an extremely severe lung condition where fluid begins to fill the air sacs within your lungs.
When fluid enters your lungs it begins to restrict the amount of oxygen that can enter the air sacs within your lungs, because this of this the amount of oxygen that enters your lungs is restricted as well and if not treated this will lead to the failure of vital organs and ultimately death.
What are some of the Causes of ARDS?
The main cause of ARDS is when the blood vessels in your lungs are damaged. When these blood vessels have damaged the fluid from the vessels are released into the air sacs within your lungs.
There are also other factors that can induce this syndrome such as,
- Inhaling saltwater, smoke, vomit, chemicals and other harmful substances.
- Contracting a severe blood infection
- Contacting pneumonia and other severe lung infections.
- Contact injuries from car wrecks and contact sports can contribute to ARDS as well.
- Overdosing on tricyclic antidepressants and strong sedatives.
Risk factors that can contribute to ARDS
Unlike pneumonia and other lung diseases, Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome is normally found along with other conditions.
Like other lung conditions, there are external factors that can influence or increase the risk of developing Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
- Smoking Cigarettes
- Heavy alcohol abuse
- Chronic lung disease
- Old age
In some cases, ARDS can be a greater issue for people that have had,
- Toxic shock
- Liver failure
- Any history of alcohol or substance abuse
What are some of the Symptoms of ARDS?
Knowing what can put you are a risk is an extremely vital piece of knowledge to have, however, if you are unable to identify and piece together the symptoms of ARDS your life and wellbeing will be in danger.
With most illness, there is a waiting or incubation period that an illness will take to properly manifest. Unfortunately, in the case of ARDS, this period of time is extremely short and will take anywhere from one to three days after you have received an injury or trauma of a serious nature.
Some of the common symptoms include,
- Hard and rapid breathing
- Low blood sugar
- Discoloration of the skin and nails
- Dry coughing
- Increased heart rates
- Mental confusion
Most of these symptoms can often be confused with symptoms of the common cold.
How is ARDS treated?
The primary treatment id ARDS is Oxygen.
The main purpose of Oxygen treatment with ARDS patients is to supply the patient with enough oxygen to keep their vital organs functioning to stop organ failure. The oxygen can be supplied via a Resmed CPAP machine which helps reduce the amount of fluid in the lungs.
Other methods include PEEP, Fluid management and medication for pain relief, antibiotics, corticosteroids and blood thinners.