Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is an accumulation of fluid in the tiny air sacs in your lungs, called alveoli. This means less oxygen can get to your organs, which is extremely dangerous. ARDS occurs when there is significant inflammation that affects the lungs either directly or indirectly. Some examples include breathing in smoke from a fire, near-drowning, and severe pneumonia. Your body responds to this injury with an extreme, out-of-balance inflammatory reaction, leading to the fluid buildup in the lungs that characterizes ARDS. The body’s attempt to heal causes a worsening of your breathing.
ARDS is a rapidly progressing disease that occurs in critically ill patients. Since it progresses quickly, it is important for ARDS patients to receive treatment from a team of pulmonary and critical care specialists at an institution with a high level of experience in this condition, such as the Temple Lung Center.