Acute respiratory distress
What is Acute respiratory distress?
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), previously known as respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), acute lung injury, adult respiratory distress syndrome, or shock lung, is a severe, life-threatening medical condition characterized by widespread inflammation in the lungs. While ARDS may be triggered by a trauma or lung infection, it is usually the result of sepsis.
ARDS is a disease of the microscopic air sacs of the lungs (alveoli) that leads to decreased exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide (gas exchange). ARDS is associated with several pathologic changes: the release of inflammatory chemicals, breakdown of the cells lining the lung's blood vessels, surfactant loss leading to increased surface tension in the lung, fluid accumulation in the lung, and excessive fibrous connective tissue formation.
The syndrome has a high mortality between 20 and 50%. The mortality rate with ARDS varies widely based on disease severity, a person's age, and the presence of other medical conditions.
The acronym ARDS formerly signified "adult respiratory distress syndrome" to differentiate it from "infant respiratory distress syndrome", which occurs in premature infants. However, as this type of pulmonary edema also occurs in children, ARDS has gradually shifted to mean "acute" rather than "adult". The differences from the typical infant syndrome remain.