Respiratory failure treatment: Do you know the cure for respiratory failure? It depends on whether the condition is short-term (acute) or ongoing (chronic) and its severity. Do you know the treatment also depends on the underlying cause of respiratory failure? Short-term respiratory failure is often treated in an intensive care unit at a hospital (could be a medical emergency). Chronic respiratory failure is severe, and usually, your doctor may recommend treatment in a long-term care centre. Ongoing respiratory failure can be treated at home. What is the primary goal of treating respiratory failure? The purpose is to remove carbon dioxide from your body and to get oxygen to your lungs and different organs. Another aim is to treat the underlying cause of the disease.
- Ventilator Support and Oxygen Therapy: You may get oxygen therapy if you have respiratory failure. Extra oxygen is given through a mask that fits over your nose and mouth or through a nasal cannula (2 prongs or small plastic tubes, that are placed in both nostrils). Do you know that oxygen can also be given by a tracheostomy (pronounced as TRA-ke-OS-to-me)? It is a surgically made hole that goes into the front of your windpipe and your neck. A breathing tube, also known as a trach tube, helps you breathe and is placed in the spot.
- Tracheostomy: If you're still having trouble breathing, or if the oxygen level in your blood doesn't increase, your doctor may recommend a ventilator. Do you know what a ventilator is? It is a machine which helps you live. It blows air —into your airways and then your lungs (with increased amounts of oxygen).
- Ventilator: As needed, your physician will adjust the ventilator. It will help get the right amount of oxygen (to your lungs). It can also prevent the pressure from the ventilator from damaging your lungs. Until you can recuperate on your own, you will use the ventilator.
What Are The Other Treatments That Help You Breathe?
- NPPV or noninvasive positive pressure ventilation and a rocking bed are 2 methods that help you breathe better while you relax. People who have chronic respiratory failure, these methods are beneficial for them.
- Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation is a treatment that uses mild air pressure to keep your airways open while you sleep. Do you know that continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP is one type of NPPV?
- Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation is done using a machine. You wear other device or a mask that fits over your nose or your mouth and nose. It is a tube that connects the mask to the machine, and the machine blows air into the tube.
For mild Respiratory Syncytial Virus infections, therapy is directed at getting the person satisfied. Medication may include:
- Something for pain and fever -- for instance, ibuprofen (Advil and others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol and others)
- Drinking lots of liquids to prevent dehydration
- A humidifier to soothe the nose and throat and possibly relieve cough
- A syringe bulb to gently loosen mucus blocking an infant's or child's nose
- Bed rest
- Saltwater (saline) nose drops
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