Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is when the lungs become inflamed, causing blood vessels to swell and leak fluid into the air sacs (alveoli). This prevents the lungs from working well. It also makes it hard to get oxygen into the blood. As a result, other vital organs can get damaged, such as the heart, kidneys, liver, or brain.
ARDS is a life-threatening condition. It usually needs treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU) in a hospital.
The condition usually happens because of a major illness, surgery, injury, or widespread infection (sepsis).
The main symptoms of this condition are sudden shortness of breath and fast, shallow breathing.
This condition is diagnosed based on your medical history, symptoms, and a physical exam.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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