What Is Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome?

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By james
Oct 11, 2020
Medical Expert Medical Expert

We get the oxygen that we need by absorbing it from the air around us. This process takes place in our lungs, and our lungs are made more efficient with the help of alveoli. Alveoli are tiny sacs that line our lungs, and their presence helps to increase the surface area of the lungs. This allows for more oxygen and carbon dioxide to be exchanged with each breath.

The alveoli have very thin walls that allow gases to pass through them. If something was to happen to the alveoli, the patient will have difficulty in exchanging gases. Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a condition where the alveoli fill with fluids, and it is extremely dangerous.

1. Overview

Certain factors can cause somebody’s alveoli to fill with fluid and, when this happens, the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide through the capillary walls cannot happen. This means that the patient’s oxygen levels will fall, and their carbon dioxide levels will rise. It is a very dangerous condition.

This is known as acute respiratory distress syndrome, and it usually happens in people that are already in a serious condition from injury or disease. It can take hours for it to get serious, or it can take days. Many patients who develop acute respiratory distress syndrome will die, and many that do survive will have suffered permanent damage.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

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