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Wet Lung (ARDS)

Wet Lung (ARDS)

This term is referred to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).

Acute Respiratory distress syndrome is characterized by chronic illness of the lung and results in breathing failure. It is a life threatening condition that is caused due to severe fluid build up in both the lungs. This fluid build up prevents the lungs to function properly, i.e. to allow inspiration of oxygen into the lungs and expiration of carbon – dioxide from the body to the air.

Here, ARDS is a life-threatening lung condition that prevents enough oxygen from getting into the blood.

Causes of ARDS

This disorder is caused due to an inflammation or injury to the lung. The common causes include:

  • Inhaling chemicals
  • Septic shock (indirect lung injury)
  • Pneumonia (direct injury)
  • Trauma (direct injury)
  • Breathing in vomited stomach contents (direct lung injury)
  • Breathing in harmful fumes or smoke (direct lung injury)
  • Drug overdose (indirect injury)
  • Inflamed pancreas (indirect injury)
  • In case of drowning

Symptoms Of Wet Lung

The most commonly seen symptoms of ARDS are shortness of breath, lower amount of oxygen in the blood and bluishness of the skin. ARDS is a very serious disorder and this is associated with multiple organs such as the liver, kidneys, and the immune system.

When it involves the multiple organ failure it can lead to death.

Tests For Diagnosing ARDS

  • Arterial blood gas
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Chest X-ray
  • Sputum cultures
  • Test for possible infections

The chest x-ray shows fluid in the air sacs of both the lungs. Blood tests show a low level of oxygen in the blood. The person suffers from severe breathing problem.

Sometimes the symptoms of ARDS can be confused with Congestive Heart failure. In case of a congestive heart failure, the fluid backs up into the lung since the heart doesn’t pump well. But there is no injury to the lungs in case of a congestive heart failure.

Treatment

The main treatment in ARDS involves giving higher concentration of oxygen than that found in normal air. Apart from these medicines such as antibiotics, pain relievers etc are prescribed.