Acute respiratory failure: back to the roots!

  • Christian Mueller

Abstract

Hypoxic respiratory failure is one of the most commonest disorders leading to intensive care unit (ICU) admission and also a common reason for the deterioration of patients already treated in the ICU. It is a very serious condition associated with significant mortality [1, 2]. In recent decades, research and scientific attention has focused nearly exclusively on the pathophysiology and treatment of established causes of hypoxic respiratory failure such distress syndrome (ARDS) [1, 2]. Therefore, our diagnostic approach to patients with hypoxic respiratory failure has remained both largely unchanged and poorly validated. This is a dilemma because diagnostic uncertainty is very common. The severity of disease and the requirement for immediate ventilatory support often limit our ability to obtain a detailed patient history and physical examination. Chest X-ray is helpful but also associated with important limitations [3].

Keywords

Intensive Care Unit Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Respiratory Failure Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Brain Natriuretic Peptide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Mueller
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity HospitalPetersgrabenSwitzerland

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