REVIEW – June 2020

Acute respiratory stress syndrome

Authors: Max Linnamägi

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Abstract

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a rapidly progressive condition that is caused by the disruption of the alveolarcapillary barrier. About a quarter of all patients on mechanical ventilation develop ARDS, and although our understanding of the pathogenetic mechanisms of ARDS has evolved over time and mortality has since declined, the condition still poses a significant threat to this day. Treatment principles include management of the underlying disease and a lung-protective mechanical ventilation strategy to avoid ventilator-induced lung injury. Patients who have survived the condition often experience a loss of quality of life. Furthermore, they have an increased risk of developing cognitive impairment and depression. Thus, it should be concluded that ARDS is a serious and debilitating condition, for which it is important to find new treatment options. Not to mention that it is crucial to implement the best current measures available to avoid complications and to improve patients’ quality of life.