You are currently viewing Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome :‎ Medical Notes & Mindmap

The respiratory system is negatively impacted by Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a dangerous and frequently fatal illness. It happens when fluid collects in the lungs’ air sacs, impeding oxygen delivery to the blood. Low oxygen levels can result from this, which may harm or even kill an organ. ARDS frequently develops as a side effect of another catastrophic disease or injury, like pneumonia, sepsis, or trauma.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome :‎ [MEDNOTES+MINDMAP]

  • Definition:
    • a serious lung condition that occurs when fluid builds up in the tiny air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs, preventing enough oxygen from reaching the bloodstream.
  • Epidemiology:
    • occurs in approximately 200,000-400,000 individuals in the United States annually
    • most commonly affects critically ill patients in intensive care units, with a mortality rate of approximately 30-50%
  • Natural history:
    • rapid onset (within hours to days) and can progress quickly if left untreated
    • usually follows a severe injury or illness (e.g. pneumonia, sepsis, trauma)
  • Classification/Types/Stages:
    • Classification:
      • Mild: oxygenation index (ratio of arterial oxygen pressure to fraction of inspired oxygen) between 4-6
      • Moderate: oxygenation index between 6-10
      • Severe: oxygenation index greater than 10
    • Types:
      • Non-hydrostatic: caused by increased permeability of capillaries in the lung, leading to fluid accumulation in the alveoli
      • Hydrostatic: caused by increased pressure in the pulmonary capillaries, leading to fluid accumulation in the alveoli
    • Stages:
      • Exudative: characterized by fluid accumulation in the alveoli and inflammation of the lung tissue
      • Proliferative: characterized by scarring and thickening of the lung tissue
      • Fibrotic: characterized by permanent scarring and thickening of the lung tissue
  • Risk Factors:
    • Sepsis
    • Trauma
    • Pneumonia
    • Aspiration
    • Drug overdose
    • Near drowning
    • Transfusion reactions
    • Pulmonary embolism
    • Burns
    • Pancreatitis
    • Multiple organ failure
  • Etiology/Causes

    • Infections (pneumonia, sepsis)
    • Trauma (pulmonary contusion, injury to chest or head)
    • Drug overdose or reactions
    • Near drowning
    • Transfusion reactions
    • Pancreatitis
    • Aspiration
    • Multiple organ failure
  • Signs

    • Rapid breathing
    • Low oxygen levels in the blood
    • Bluish skin color (cyanosis)
    • Chest pain or discomfort
    • Rapid heart rate
    • Confusion
  • Symptoms

    • Shortness of breath
    • Rapid breathing
    • Chest pain
    • Cough
    • Fatigue
    • Confusion
  • Pathology/Pathogenesis

    • Damage to the lungs and alveoli, leading to fluid accumulation and difficulty exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide
    • Inflammatory response causing damage to the blood vessels in the lungs and decreased oxygen delivery to the body
    • Dysfunctional surfactant production, leading to collapse of the alveoli and difficulty breathing
    • Insufficient oxygen delivery to organs and tissues, leading to organ failure and potential death.
  • Diagnosis/Laboratory Diagnosis
    • Physical examination
    • Chest X-ray or CT scan
    • Blood gas analysis
    • Lung biopsy (rarely needed)
  • Tests Required
    • Oxygen saturation test
    • Pulmonary function test
    • Chest X-ray or CT scan
    • Blood tests (complete blood count, electrolytes, liver function)
  • Associated with/Strongly Associated with
    • Sepsis
    • Aspiration of vomit or stomach contents
    • Near drowning
    • Inhaled toxic substances
    • Major trauma or injury
    • Acute pancreatitis
    • Pneumonia
    • Pulmonary embolism
  • Similar diseases/syndromes
    • Acute lung injury (ALI)
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • Pulmonary edema
    • Pneumonia
  • Treatment
    • Oxygen therapy
    • Ventilator support
    • Medications (diuretics, corticosteroids, vasopressors)
    • Fluid management
    • Nutritional support
    • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in severe cases

Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER working in govt.health department
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