Medical Surgical ARDS & Acute Respiratory Failure #4

Question

Which client is at most risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome?

Answers

  1. Client with asthma.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because a client with asthma is not at high risk for ARDS unless the asthma is exacerbated. An example would be an asthma attack brought on by toxic chemicals that also damage the lung when inhaled.

  2. Client in the hospital with sepsis.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because sepsis is the most common cause of ARDS. It typically occurs in clients who are already hospitalized with a critical illness or infection. The infection and edema brought on by sepsis causes alveoli damage which results in ARDs.

  3. Client experiencing anaphylaxis.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because although anaphylaxis result in ARDS, it is not the most common risk factor. Anaphylaxis results in ARDS from the inflammatory response it causes to the lung parenchyma.

  4. Client recovering from pneumonia.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the client is recovering from pneumonia. It does not indicate if the client is in the hospital recovering or outclient. Pneumonia can lead to ARDS when it is severe.

Overview

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) occurs when fluid builds up in the alveoli of the lungs, keeping oxygen from reaching the bloodstream. The edema that sepsis causes leads to ARDs.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) occurs when fluid builds up in the alveoli of the lungs. This keeps oxygen from reaching the bloodstream, perfusing the organs. The edema that sepsis causes leads to ARDs. It typically occurs in clients who are already hospitalized with a critical illness or infection. Other causes of ARDS include severe pneumonia, chest injury, inhalation of toxic irritants, and a near-drowning accident. ARDS usually develops anywhere from a few hours to a few days after the precipitating injury or infection. Symptoms of ARDS are severe shortness of breath, labored and rapid breathing, low blood pressure, confusion, and fatigue.

Test Taking Tip

Since ARDS usually follows a major illness, “in the hospital” in the answer choices is the correct choice for this question.

Video Rationale