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Apnea of prematurity
Acute respiratory distress syndrome
Pulmonary changes at high altitude and altitude sickness
Congenital pulmonary airway malformation
Superior vena cava syndrome
Meconium aspiration syndrome
Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome
Sudden infant death syndrome
Transient tachypnea of the newborn
Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
Restrictive lung diseases
Retropharyngeal and peritonsillar abscesses
Upper respiratory tract infection
Apnea, hypoventilation and pulmonary hypertension: Pathology review
Cystic fibrosis: Pathology review
Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism: Pathology review
Lung cancer and mesothelioma: Pathology review
Obstructive lung diseases: Pathology review
Pleural effusion, pneumothorax, hemothorax and atelectasis: Pathology review
Pneumonia: Pathology review
Respiratory distress syndrome: Pathology review
Restrictive lung diseases: Pathology review
Tuberculosis: Pathology review
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) Assessment
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) Interventions
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or ARDS, is exactly what it sounds like.
‘Acute’ means that it happens rapidly.
‘Respiratory distress’ means that a person becomes unable to breathe and oxygenate their blood, and ‘syndrome’ means that it is a group of symptoms that may be caused by any number of underlying conditions.
In ARDS, the alveoli and the capillaries that surround them - the site of gas exchange in the lungs - are damaged by an inflammatory process like pneumonia or sepsis.
Air enters the lungs through a series of airways that branch and narrow until they end in clusters of alveoli, which look kinda like a bunch of grapes.
The alveoli are covered in nets of capillaries that allow gas exchange into and out of the blood.
Gas exchange happens efficiently between alveoli and capillaries because each of their walls is only one cell thick!
Capillaries are lined with a single layer of endothelial cells and alveoli are lined with a single layer of epithelial cells.
These cell layers are fused to one another by the basement membrane and surrounding the alveoli and blood vessels is connective tissue made up of mostly proteins and water - in a space called the interstitial space.
The alveolar epithelial cells—called pneumocytes—come in two types.
The vast majority are type I pneumocytes, which are thin and have a large surface area, a shape that allows oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass through them easily.
There are also type II pneumocytes scattered around which are smaller and thicker, and are important because they make surfactant, an oily secretion that coats the alveoli.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a life-threatening lung condition that results in non-compliant lungs and poor blood oxygenation. It is associated with diffuse alveolar and endothelial injury. ARDS can be caused by a number of things, including pneumonia, sepsis, and trauma. Symptoms include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, and blue lips and fingernails.
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