What is Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) – Dr. Sheetu Singh


ARDS is a condition generated due to a lack of oxygen in the lungs. This deficiency occurs due to the build-up of fluid in the tiny sacs present inside the lungs which are called alveoli. This reduces the supply of blood in the organs using which they function properly.  Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome occurs in people with already existing critical illnesses or having any significant injuries. Many patients suffering from this condition do not survive. However, it is not always the case. The damage in the surviving ones can be long-lasting but it is not always fatal. 

lungs into the alveoli i.e., the site of oxygen enrichment, explains Dr. Sheetu Singh Usually, a membrane keeps this vessel covered to keep the fluid in its place but due to some injury or illness it starts leaking out and cause such condition of excessive deposition of fluid that blocks the alveolar site of exchange. 

The underlying causes of this disease are:-


 The pathogenic infection of the lungs causes inflammation in either or both lungs. It causes infection and inflammation in the alveoli of the lungs which eventually get filled with fluid or pus causing difficulty in breathing. 

  • COVID- 19  :- This recent catastrophic disease has caused massive damage to the lungs of people across the globe. When the infection or post – COVID-19 effects reaches up to the lungs fluid-filled sacs cause difficulty in breathing. 
  • Inhalation of dangerous chemicals or substances :- Smoke or chemical in the environment can result in ARDS. Also, aspiration of liquids or vomit, or saliva can cause infection in the lungs causing such a condition. 
  • Sepsis  :- The most common cause of ARDS is this widespread and serious infection in the bloodstream.

Symptoms: –

Symptoms are this disease vary hugely depending upon the severity and intensity. Also, they can be synonymous with symptoms of other lung disorders. These include: 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Forceful or labored breathing 
  • Decrease in blood pressure
  • Fatigue. 



Several complications can arise from this condition even while suffering from it. Many patients experience blood clots while being on a ventilator, especially in the deep veins of the legs, and this gives rise to a condition called pulmonary embolism. Also, a condition called pneumothorax may arise. The most common complication of ARDS, i.e., scarring of lung tissues can occur within a few days of the onset of the disease.

Diagnosis and Treatment: –

There are no specific diagnostic techniques for acute respiratory distress syndrome. Physical examinations, imaging, and oxygen levels in the lungs help to rule out the disease. Dr Sheetu Singh provides the best treatment that follows the diagnosis, failing which the condition of the lungs speedily deteriorates. Treatment methods can be a blend of medications, supply of oxygen, and supply of fluids, depending upon the severity of the disease. 

Dr. Sheetu Singh, a nationally renowned pulmonologist, Director ILD & Pulmonary Rehab Clinic, is an expert in chest-related conditions. She got her training from SMS Medical College, Jaipur followed by a visit to Cleveland Clinic, USA.

Contact Info

Address: Mahavir Jaipuriya Rajasthan Hospital Milap Nagar, JLN Marg, Jaipur

Mobile: (+91)-8696666380

Email-Id: sheetusingh@yahoo.co.in

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