Acute respiratory distress syndrome involves abrupt development of shortness of breath in just hours to days of a stimulating event.
Some of these events generally include:
- Overdose on certain drugs
- Acute pancreatitis
- Massive transfusion of blood products
In most instances, the initial event is evident but in some, the underlying cause is difficult to pinpoint.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome typically arises within 12-48 hours after an event, but in rare cases, it might be delayed for a few days. Generally, those who develop the condition are seriously sick, usually with multiple organ failure.
What are the signs?
- Severe difficulty breathing
Management of acute respiratory distress syndrome
Hospitalization is required if an individual develops acute respiratory distress syndrome, usually in an intensive care unit.
Remember that there is no specific treatment for the condition, but mainly supportive in nature which includes a respiratory and oxygen.
Intravenous fluids are administered to provide nutrition as well as prevent dehydration. These are strictly monitored to prevent the buildup of fluid in the lungs.
Antibiotics are prescribed by the doctor since a bacterial infection is often an underlying cause of the condition. In some cases, corticosteroids are given.