Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of ARDS develop suddenly and include the following:
- Dyspnea (audible, labored breathing, shortness of breath)
- Tachypnea (abnormally rapid breathing)
- Severe hypoxaemia (decreased oxygen concentration in the blood)
- Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries)
- Cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin due to poor oxygenation of the blood)
- Presence of abnormal deposits in the lungs (detected by chest x-rays)
Complications of ARDS
Complications of ARDS include the following:
- Multiorgan failure (or multiple organ dysfunction syndrome): The same inflammatory processes that injure the alveoli and capillary endothelial cells can damage other organs, including the liver, kidney, brain, blood, and immune system.
- Irreversible pulmonary fibrosis (permanent scarring of lung tissue): Pulmonary fibrosis can lead to prolonged mechanical ventilation and lung dysfunction. Fibrosis decreases the abilities of the lungs to expand and oxygen to cross the alveolar-capillary barrier.