Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Essay Sample

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome


The body of human beings has been infected with several diseases, most of which are curable while others are not. There have been efforts to curb the increase of disorders brought about by the professionalism in the health sector which has contributed to decreased mortality rates. Acute respiratory distress syndrome is among the raising disorders in parts of the United States (Leaver and Evans 389-394).

The unexpected malfunction of the breathing system is referred to as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). It arises in persons who are severely sick and most of them are already in the sick bay when they develop the disease. They experience quickened breathing rate, complexity in getting sufficient air into the lungs and little oxygenated blood levels. Biologically, it is clearly known that oxygen is a vital element in the bodies of all living things, and therefore without it the chances of survival would be lessened. ARDS therefore puts the health of individuals at risk (Leaver and Evans 389-394).

Cause and Epidemiology

ARDS is caused by a bacterial infection to the blood of an already sick individual. Persons with shock, pneumonia, numerous blood transfers, inhale dangerous smoke, take narcotics and calming drugs have very high chances of contracting the disease. The occurrence of ARDS was initially determined in a research carried out in a populated region in the US. The study indicated that more than 1000 persons were diagnosed with the disease in the year 1999/2000. It was pointed out that 16 patients at age of 15 and 19 out of 100,000 and 306 patients at age of 75 to 84 would have the oxygen deficiency syndrome, suggesting to 190,000 annual issues of ARDS (Leaver and Evans 389-394).

There are three clinical accounts for the cause of ARDS: sepsis syndrome which is the main cause; severe manifold trauma; gastric content/saliva aspiration and it may also be a pneumonia complication if not treated commonly referred to as aspiration pneumonia; and necrotizing pancreatitis. Additionally, a number of ARDS cases are associated with immense fluid volumes used in the process of resuscitation post trauma. The situation could also be as a result of shock, multiple transfusions, near-drowning as well as toxic fumes or irritants inhalations that harm the alveolar epithelium.

Pathophysiology and Symptoms

Acute respiratory distress syndrome is connected with the damage of the alveoli, necessary for the diffusion of oxygen and injury of the capillary pathway. Initial stages of ARDS are distinguished by an enlarged porosity of the alveolar vessel blockade, resulting in incursion of fluid rich in protein into the alveoli. The barrier is created by the muscular endothelium and epithelial inner layer of the networks. However damage is experienced on the endothelium and alveolar epithelial, resulting in ARDS (Leaver and Evans 389-394). Due to the mentioned malfunctions of the endothelium and alveolar epithelial, patients experience insufficient air, fastened breathing, low levels of oxygenated blood, cough and fever if the disease is caused by pneumonia, low blood pressure, puzzlement and excessive fatigue.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis of ARDS is based on physical examination and laboratory tests. Unusual inhalation noise and indications of excess fluid in the body could suggest a malfunction by the kidneys. Medical test with the use of a major blood gas test confirms the oxygen level. An x-ray done on the chest indicates the excess fluid in the lungs. Heart tests are also conducted to confirm the existence of heart failure. After a patient is diagnosed with ARDS, treatment follows immediately. One is given respiratory aid through oxygenated tubes that run through the nose. The patient is also provided with remedy to protect and treat infections as well as relief pain (Spragg et al. 1562-1566).

Outcomes and Prognosis

Ever since the 1990s, majority of the studies indicated an ARDS death rate of 40 to 70%. Another research carried out in a county hospital in the UK in the same year showed that the mortality rate was decreasing with the introduction of ARDS medication. The deficiency of oxygen is a central cause of death, which called for specialists in the treatment of the disease. Spragg et al. affirm that patients with the disease are found to have a long stay in hospitals, hence develop respirator linked pneumonia (1562-1566). Months after discharge, they encounter muscle fault, declined mass and functional mutilation.

Recent research or future studies

With the recent research on the treatment of critically ailing patients, there has been an upcoming biologic, genomic and hereditary progress. Future research will require joint efforts including cellular and automatic methods associated with animal and scientific courses, which are the solution to improved discovery and management of the compound disorder. Alternatively, the use of biomarkers will also contribute in the continued elucidation of the pathogenetic steps to improve ARDS. 

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ARDS is an ordinary state to patients in the intensive care unit. In spite of recent progress the disease is yet linked with major mortality rates. Decisive control of the disease should involve loyal aid and cure of the primary cause. Restricted aeration is the sole control policy seen to have a significant survival advantage. The period of automatic aeration and ICU stay has been minimized by a conservative fluid control policy. However, alternative actions may be taken in individual issues, although there is yet no enough proof to suggest their extensive application on every patient. 

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