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Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (Ards) – Everything You Need To Know

27 August, 2020 Prashasti Jauhari

Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a lung disease in which excess fluid fills up in the air ac called the alveoli of the lungs. It is rather a life-threatening disease. Excess fluid in air sacs can reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood. If our blood doesn’t get enough oxygen, our body does not receive enough oxygen to work properly, and thus, it can result in the failure of certain organs or organs. ARDS is a medical emergency and can be fatal.

Ards Causes

Acute respiratory distress syndrome occurs when blood vessels in lung damages and all the fluid from the blood vessel fills up in the air sacs. When air sacs get filled with fluid, less oxygen is able to enter the blood as air sacs are where the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen happens.

Some common causes of developing ARDS are –

  1. Inhaling something toxic like smoke or chemicals.
  2. Developing a serious lung infection.
  3. Developing a serious blood infection like sepsis.
  4. Serious injury to the head or chest.
  5. A patient of COVID-19 can also develop acute respiratory distress syndrome.
  6. Smoking cigarettes.
  7. Drinking too much alcohol.
  8. Chronic lung disease.
  9. Are older than 65 years.
  10. Acquiring specific genes that deal with the lung’s response to damage.

Ards Symptoms

  1. Extreme shortness of breath
  2. Unusual rapid breathing
  3. Low blood pressure
  4. Fatigue

ARDS is mostly the complication of another disease. Most of the people who develop acute respiratory distress syndrome are already in the hospital.

Ards Diagnosis

There is no specific test to diagnose acute respiratory distress syndrome. On showing symptoms of ARDS, the doctor may run some of the following tests to know if the patient is suffering from ARDS or not –

  • Imaging
    • Computerized tomography (CT) Scan
    • Chest X-ray
  • Blood test
  • Heart test – because symptoms are similar to certain heart diseases.
    • Electrocardiogram
    • Echo-cardiogram

Ards Treatment

There is no cure for acute respiratory distress syndrome. Treatment focuses on providing relief and support to the patient while the lung recovers. The treatment is based on curing the injury or the reason that caused the syndrome. Ventilator support is needed and medications like paralytics are given so that the patient can adjust to the ventilator. Prone positioning is also done to increase the effectiveness of oxygen therapy to the body.

Some of the medicines can be given to the patients to provide some relief from the symptoms like anti-reducing medicines, antibiotics, blood thinners like Heparin for adults, muscle relaxers, pain relievers, and some sedatives. Sedatives can have some side effects like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), needing ventilator support for a longer period of time. You can buy the medicines from an affordable medicine store franchise.

Ards Recovery

Most people who develop Acute respiratory distress syndrome survive. The death rate of the patient depends on both – the cause of developing ARDS in the first place and the individual’s overall health. Other factors that it depends on is the age of the individual. A young person with acute respiratory distress syndrome might recover soon and completely while an older person with the syndrome might not fully recover from ARDS.

Many patients recover completely from ARDS within a few months. However, some people might develop some lifelong side effects like an effect on mental health, muscle weakness, and/or permanent lung damage.

Ards Prevention

Although there is no way to prevent ACUTE RESPIRATORY DISTRESS SYNDROME (ARDS) completely, you can take some measures to reduce the risk of developing it.

  1. If you have any trauma, illness, or infection, get medical assistance for the same.
  2. Quit smoking and try to avoid passive smoking. Try to quit smoking by using nicotine patches and you can buy them from top online pharmacy India for an affordable price.
  3. Reduce alcohol intake. Drinking too much alcohol can disrupt some lung functions.
  4. Get flu vaccines every year and get the pneumonia vaccine every five years to reduce the risk of developing lung infections.