Adult respiratory distress syndrome still causes a substantial mortality due to the injury of the lung parenchyma. Since ARDS may complicate various disease processes, effective treatment of the syndrome requires the resolution of the original underlying disease. However, survival depends upon supportive measures aimed at providing adequate gas exchange, while avoiding further damage to the lungs and other organ systems. Mechanical ventilation in its various forms is presently the most common treatment for ARDS. However one must consider the possible “iatrogenic cost” of the respiratory support, hypothesizing that the support, when applied to severely injured lungs, may induce further damage both to the lung structure and possibly to the other organs. Extracorporeal support has emerged as an alternative to more conventional ventilatory managements.
KeywordsAcute Respiratory Failure Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome Artificial Lung Permissive Hypercapnia Membrane Lung
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