Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)
Difficulty in breathing, low blood pressure and organ failure, rapid breathing and shortness of breath are some of the symptoms of ARDS.
ARDS can be diagnosed by arterial blood gas test, Bronchoscopy, Blood tests, including CBC and blood chemistries and chest x-ray. An echocardiogram or Swan-Ganz catheterization may be needed to rule out congestive heart failure, which can look similar to ARDS on a chest x-ray.
The first goal in treating ARDS is to improve the levels of oxygen in your blood. Without oxygen, your organs can't function properly. For milder symptoms or as a temporary measure, oxygen may be delivered through a mask that fits tightly over your nose and mouth. Most people with ARDS will need the help of a machine to breathe. A mechanical ventilator pushes air into your lungs and forces some of the fluid out of the air sacs.
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