What Causes Lung Injuries?
The causes of lung injuries fall into two categories: direct or indirect.
Direct lung injuries can be brought on by:
- Aspiration (breathing stomach contents into the lung)
- Bruising from trauma, like a car accident
- High altitude
- Severe pneumonia
- Smoke inhalation from a fire
Indirect lung injuries can result from:
How Is ARDS Treated?
Because there is no direct cure for ARDS, treatment focuses on supporting the patient while the lung heals. ARDS will often worsen in the first few days following the diagnosis before the lung begins to heal. The goal of this supportive care is to keep enough oxygen in the blood to prevent further damage to your body and to treat whatever caused ARDS in the first place. Another important part of the care for ARDS is to prevent and manage complications related to being in an intensive care unit.
Sedation and medications to prevent movement
ECMO stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. This is a very complicated treatment that takes blood outside of your body and pumps it through a membrane that adds oxygen and removes carbon dioxide and then returns the blood to your body. This is a high-risk therapy with many complications. It is not suitable for every patient.