The first goal in treating ARDS is to improve the levels of oxygen in your blood. Without oxygen, your organs can't function properly.
To get more oxygen into your bloodstream, your doctor will likely use:
- Supplemental oxygen. For milder symptoms or as a temporary measure, oxygen may be delivered through a mask that fits tightly over your nose and mouth.
- Mechanical ventilation. 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.
Carefully managing the amount of intravenous fluids is crucial. Too much fluid can increase fluid buildup in the lungs. Too little fluid can put a strain on your heart and other organs, and lead to shock.
People with ARDS usually are given medication to:
May. 07, 2011
- Prevent and treat infections
- Relieve pain and discomfort
- Prevent clots in the legs and lungs
- Minimize gastric reflux
- What is ARDS? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Ards/Ards_WhatIs.html. Accessed March 4, 2011.
- Hudson LD, et al. Acute lung injury/Acute respiratory distress syndrome. In: Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed March 4, 2011.
- Moran GJ, et al. Acute respiratory distress syndrome. In: Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05472-0..X0001-1--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05472-0&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed March 4, 2011.
- Siegel MD. Acute respiratory distress syndrome: Prognosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 4, 2011.
- Lee WL, et al. Acute respiratory distress syndrome. In: Mason RJ, et al. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/192068760-2/0/1288/0.html. Accessed March 4, 2011.
- Siegel MD. Acute respiratory distress syndrome: Epidemiology, pathophysiology, pathology and etiology. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 4, 2011.
- Hansen-Flaschen J, et al. Acute respiratory distress syndrome: Definition, clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 7, 2011.
- Hopkins RO, et al. Quality of life, emotional abnormalities and cognitive dysfunction in survivors of acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome. Clinical Chest Medicine. 2006;27:679.
- Siegel MD. Supportive care and oxygenation in acute respiratory distress syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 7, 2011.
- Post-ARDS tips. The ARDS Foundation. http://www.ardsusa.org/tips_post_ards.htm. Accessed March 7, 2011.
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