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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Acute respiratory distress syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • Acute lung injury
  • Adult respiratory distress syndrome
  • ALI
  • ARDS
  • Increased-permeability pulmonary edema
More Names
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How might acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) be treated?

Typically people with ARDS need to be in an intensive care unit (ICU).[1][2] The goal of treatment is to provide breathing support and treat the cause of ARDS. This may involve medications to treat infections, reduce inflammation, and remove fluid from the lungs. A breathing machine is used to deliver high doses of oxygen and continued pressure called PEEP (positive end-expiratory pressure) to the damaged lungs. Patients often need to be deeply sedated with medications when using this equipment. Some research suggests that giving medications to temporarily paralyze a person with ARDS will increase the chance of recovery. Treatment continues until the patient is well enough to breathe on his/her own.[1]

More detailed information about the treatment of ARDS can be accessed through the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and Medscape Reference
An article detailing Oxygen Therapy is also available.

Last updated: 5/17/2012

  1. Acute respiratory distress syndrome. MedlinePlus. March 3, 2012; Accessed 5/17/2012.
  2. What is ARDS?. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). January 12, 2012; Accessed 5/17/2012.

Clinical Trials & Research for this Disease

  • lists trials that are studying or have studied Acute respiratory distress syndrome. Click on the link to go to to read descriptions of these studies.