Acute Respiratory Distress
Education, care, support, and communication
for patients, survivors, families, friends, medical personnel, and
others affected by and/or interested in ARDS.
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is
an acute, severe injury to most or all of both lungs. Patients with
ARDS experience severe shortness of breath and often require
mechanical ventilation (life support) because of respiratory
failure. ARDS is not a specific disease; instead, it is a type of
severe, acute lung dysfunction that is associated with a variety of
diseases, such as pneumonia, shock, sepsis (a severe infection in
the body) and trauma. ARDS can be confused with congestive heart
failure, which is another common condition that can also cause acute
We at the ARDS Support Center welcome you to
our website. It is our hope that you will find the
information, and support you are searching for. To the left you will
find links to the different sections of ASC.
Answers to many of your questions can
be found in the "Learn
About ARDS" section of our website. We are currently
working on a search engine that will make finding answers to your
questions much easier. Please be patient. If you are
unable to find an answer to your question please do not hesitate to
contact members of the Support
Staff who will help you in any way they can. If you
would like to discuss what you are going through with someone else
who has had a similar experience please select two of the support
staff members who will be able to offer support and understanding.
New Information for the
Treatment of ARDS
Below is a
front page article from the
December 24, 2005 edition of the
Memphis newspaper "The
Commercial Appeal". The article
is about a patient with ARDS
treated with a new treatment
that will be presented on
January 10, 2006 at the Society
of Critical Care Medicine Annual
Congress in San Francisco.
distress syndrome strikes just
would like more information on
this new treatment, please
Professor of Medicine
University of Tennessee Health
Department of Medicine
Division of Pulmonary and
Critical Care Medicine
956 Court Avenue, Room H-316
Memphis, TN 38163
SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)
Much about the virus is a mystery. Here’s what’s known.
“What is my risk of catching it?”
Low, so far. In the United States 55 of the 69 victims have been recent visitors to China, Hong Kong, Vietnam or Singaporethe centers of the epidemic. The rest have been family members of those travelers or medical personnel who treated them.
“How can I tell if I’ve got it?”
If you suspect you’ve been exposed and have a fever over 100.4 degrees, difficulty breathing, a dry cough, aches and malaise, call your doctor immediately.
“Is this a brand new disease?”
Apparently so. Researchers believe a mutant member of a virus family that also causes some forms of the common cold causes it.
“How contagious is it?”
Sneezing and coughing, experts say, can pass the virus and it has an incubation period of up to ten days. It may also linger on objects handled by a person with SARS.
“How can I avoid it?”
The surest way is to stay out of the most affected countries. Frequent hand-washing may also help. Though Hong Kong merchants nearly sold out of surgical masks, doctors say these are of limited help if not properly used.
“How is it treated?”
At this point, doctors can only treat the symptoms, not the disease itself. The good news: SARS’s mortality rate is relatively low. If you get it, you have a 96.5 percent chance of surviving.
“Is SARS related to ARDS?”
NO!! There is absolutely no connection between ARDS and SARS. If you are a surviving ARDS patient, you should have absolutely no concern that you are a prime candidate for SARS.
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