What are the causes of ARDS?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 24, 2013

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Quick Bites

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a lung condition.
  • It leads to low oxygen levels in the blood.
  • The causes of ARDS are pneumonia and severe bleeding caused by an injury.
  • Breathing in harmful fumes or smoke may also cause ARDS.

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a lung condition that leads to low oxygen levels in the blood. ARDS can be life-threatening condition because body's organs, such as the kidneys and brain, need oxygen-rich blood to work properly.


ARDS causes


ARDS usually occurs in people with an underlying medical condition or who have major injuries. In ARDS, infections, injuries, or other conditions cause the lung's capillaries to leak more fluid than normal into the air sacs. This prevents the lungs from filling with air and moving enough oxygen into the bloodstream.



Many conditions or factors can directly or indirectly injure the lungs and lead to ARDS. Some common ones are:

  • Sepsis (a condition in which bacteria infects the bloodstream)
  • Pneumonia (an infection in the lungs)
  • Severe bleeding caused by an injury to the body
  • An injury to the chest or head like a severe blow
  • Breathing in harmful fumes or smoke
  • Inhaling vomited stomach contents from the mouth.

It remains unknown why people develop ARDS. Researchers are trying to find out why ARDS develops and how to prevent it.

ARDS is treated with oxygen therapy, fluids, and medicines. Treatments are done in a hospital's intensive care unit. The main objective in treating ARDS includes getting oxygen to your lungs and organs (like the brain and kidneys) and treating the underlying condition that's causing ARDS.


Read more articles on ARDS.



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