Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or ARDS, is a life-threatening lung condition that prevents the blood from getting enough oxygen to keep tissues alive. It affects about 150,000 people each year, many of whom die. Medical malpractice is sometimes the cause of ARDS.
Common causes of acute respiratory distress syndrome include:
- Inhaling vomit into the lungs (aspiration)
- Shock from infection in the blood (septic shock)
- Inhaling chemicals
ARDS leads to a buildup of fluid in the air sacs in the lungs, and this blocks oxygen from passing from the lungs into the bloodstream.
Aspiration of vomit is something that doctors usually can protect patients from, and therefore if it happens and leads to ARDS, a malpractice investigation may be appropriate. Other causes of ARDS that can relate to hospital or doctor error include: infections, rapid loss of blood, and adverse reactions to blood transfusions.
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