Acute respiratory distress - symptoms and how to test
Reduced oxygen levels in the blood are a symptom of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Most people diagnosed with ARDS already have a serious health condition, such as cancer or a recent significant accident. The breakdown of surfactant contributes to the accumulation of fluid in the alveoli, or air sacs, of the lungs in ARDS. ARDS can occur in people with severe COVID-19. It can also occur in people with inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), severe blood loss (burns), and extensive surgery (transfusions). Diagnostic testing can help to determine if a patient has ARDS. These examinations ascertain the state of the lungs, exclude other potential causes of the symptoms, and pinpoint the origin of the infection.