Certain diseases and conditions that impair breathing can cause respiratory failure. These diseases and conditions may affect the muscles, nerves, bones, or tissues that support breathing, or they may affect the lungs directly.
When breathing is impaired, your lungs can't easily move oxygen into your blood and remove carbon dioxide from your blood (gas exchange). This can cause a low oxygen level or high carbon dioxide level, or both, in your blood.
Respiratory failure can occur as a result of:
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