Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) occurs when fluid builds up in the tiny, elastic air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs. More fluid in your lungs means less oxygen can reach your bloodstream. This deprives your organs of the oxygen they need to function.
If you have ARDS, you can develop other medical problems while in the hospital. The most common are infections, pneumothorax (noo-mo-THOR-aks), lung scarring, and blood clots.
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