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What is acute respiratory distress syndrome?

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Acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, is a condition that causes fluid to leak into your lungs, so your blood can't pick up oxygen to take to the rest of your body. That can lead to organs such as your kidneys or brain not working as they should or shutting down.

It's serious, sometimes life-threatening, and can get worse fast. But it’s generally treatable and most people can recover from it, with fast diagnosis and treatment.

Doctors aren’t sure why some people get ARDS and others don’t.

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “ARDS.”

NIH. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Is ARDS?”

American Lung Association: “Learn About ARDS.”

American Thoracic Society: “What is Acute Respiratory Syndrome?”

Cleveland Clinic: “Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).”

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on December 21, 2018

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “ARDS.”

NIH. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Is ARDS?”

American Lung Association: “Learn About ARDS.”

American Thoracic Society: “What is Acute Respiratory Syndrome?”

Cleveland Clinic: “Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).”

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on December 21, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What happens when you have acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDs)?

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