Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) results when the lungs are injured, most commonly by bloodstream infection (sepsis), pneumonia or trauma. The lungs fill with fluid (pulmonary edema), severely impairing gas exchange. The patient’s blood oxygen level drops dramatically, and breathing becomes rapid and labored.
How is ARDS treated?
Mechanical ventilation, usually with PEEP (positive end-expiratory pressure), is required to support breathing and to increase oxygen levels in the blood. Diuretics may be given to reduce fluid and swelling in the lungs. Intravenous antibiotics are used to combat infections that often accompany ARDS.
ARDS research at Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic is one of 10 centers selected by the National Institutes of Health to participate in a study of new therapies for ARDS, and is currently participating in a phase II study of a innovative ARDS medication. Participation in these trials is offered to all The Cleveland Clinic's patients with ARDS who meet the clinical trial criteria.
To transfer a patient with sepsis to the Cleveland Clinic Medical Intensive Care Unit, ask your physician to call Cleveland Clinic’s physician referral line at 800.553.5056.