ARDS Support Center

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

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 respiratory distress.

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.

"Life-threatening respiratory distress syndrome strikes just after delivery"

If you would like more information on this new treatment, please contact:

G. Umberto Meduri, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Department of Medicine
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
956 Court Avenue, Room H-316
Memphis, TN 38163


 The brochure "Understanding ARDS" is now online

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 Singapore—the 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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