What Is the Most Common Cause of ARDS?

Reviewed on 11/3/2020

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is dangerous lung damage
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is dangerous lung damage

Sepsis (severe systemic infection) is the most common cause of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

ARDS is caused due to fluid leakage from the small lung vessels into the lung air sacs (alveoli). It causes difficulty in breathing and severe falls in oxygen in the body.

ARDS commonly occur due to lung injuries:

Your risk of ARDS may increase if you have

What does ARDS mean?

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is dangerous lung damage that allows fluid to leak into the lung air sacs (alveoli). This hampers the oxygen transfer process at the lung level. The body organs such as the kidney and brain stop working. The person will experience severe breathing difficulties, which will require immediate artificial oxygen support to help them breathe. It is an emergency condition and requires immediate medical attention.

It commonly occurs in critically ill people who are hospitalized for an injury or severe illnesses such as coronavirus (COVID-19), sepsis, pneumonia, and other conditions.

It can worsen quickly, usually developing within a few hours to a few days of the injury or infection. Chances of survival in people who develop ARDS depends on the age and severity of their co-existing medical issues. However, with time, treatments are improving, and more people survive ARDS now than they did in the past. Although many survive, there may be some lung damage in many individuals.

Fast diagnosis and treatment in ARDS are very important for the survival of patients.


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What are the symptoms of ARDS?

If you have acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), your symptom may vary in intensity, depending on its cause and severity, as well as the presence of an underlying heart or lung disease.

What are the complications?

Complications include:

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WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/lung/ards-acute-respiratory-distress-syndrome

Medscape: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/165139-overview

NIH: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/acute-respiratory-distress-syndrome

NIH: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK436002/

American Lung Association https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/ards


Cleveland clinic https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15283-acute-respiratory-distress-syndrome-ards

Mayoclinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ards/symptoms-causes/syc-20355576

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