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Doctor insights on: Respiratory Failure

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Dr. Sue Ferranti
107 doctors shared insights

Respiratory Failure (Overview)

Respiratory failure describes the condition where a person is unable to breathe in enough oxygen to supply the tissues of their body. Respiratory failure can occur in severe cases of asthma, pneumonia, or any condition that prevents a person from breathing normally.


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Do lots of people get respiratory failure, or is it unusual?

Do lots of people get respiratory failure, or is it unusual?

Not unusual...: There are lots of reasons for respiratory failure and some of them are rather common so respiratory failure itself is not all that uncommon, unfortunately! ...Read more

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Dr. Sue Ferranti
107 doctors shared insights

Respiratory Failure (Overview)

Respiratory failure describes the condition where a person is unable to breathe in enough oxygen to supply the tissues of their body. Respiratory failure can occur in severe cases of asthma, pneumonia, or any condition that prevents a person from breathing normally.


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How does respiratory failure lead to papilledema?

How does respiratory failure lead to papilledema?

Not connected : In the intensive care unit where i practice, respiratory failure and papilledema can occur in the same situation but one does not cause the other. I can think of situations such as high blood pressure emergency causing both, or trauma situation, or meningitis etc. This is typically a very dire situation where danger of dying or remaining handicapped for the rest of one's life is quite high. ...Read more

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Living with Congestive Heart Failure (Checklist)

Weigh yourself daily. Alert doctor to any increases.
Daily
Take medications as prescribed
Once
Tell the doctor if your legs swell or you get short of breath
Once
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Is diarrhea is a common symptom of respiratory failure?

Is diarrhea is a common symptom of respiratory failure?

No: That is not cause and effect. Both symptoms are originating from a common cause. ...Read more

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So what are the symptoms of respiratory failure?

Difficulty breathing: Strictly speaking respiratory failure is when there is 1) failure of the drive to breathe 2)inadequate air flow 3)inadequate transport of oxygen 4) failure of the chest wall and diaphragm 5) lung disease which limits the performance of normal lung functions. Sometimes artificial support with mechanical ventilation can temporarily provide time for the lung to repair. ...Read more

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I had respiratory failure (cyanosis) during general anaesthetic.The doctor thinks it was anaphylaxis. I am now diagnosed with both COPD stage 2 and asthma.Were these conditions the more likely cause?

I had respiratory failure (cyanosis) during general anaesthetic.The doctor thinks it was anaphylaxis.  I am now diagnosed with both COPD stage 2 and asthma.Were these conditions the more likely cause?

COPD is deadly: Anaphylaxis can happen with any drug, but acute postoperative respiratory failure is more commonly caused by underlying lung disease. Stopping smoking several weeks before surgery decreases risk for complications. Of course, the best thing anyone can do for better health is to stop smoking, especially those with lung disease. Smoking with lung disease is like rubbing dirt into a wound. Stop ASAP. ...Read more

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Managing Mild Kidney Failure (Checklist)

Make certain your blood pressure is at the low prescribed target
once
Make certain your cholesterol has been monitored and treated
once
Make certain your blood sugars are well managed
once
Minimize weight gain and lose weight if you are overweight.
once
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What are the tests for respiratory failure?

What are the tests for respiratory failure?

Depends...: The diagnosis of respiratory failure is typically made on the basis of abgs and the overall clinical picture. But, the cause of the respiratory failure needs to be diagnosed so it can be treated. To diagnose the cause of the respiratory failure requires a diagnostic work-up beginning with a history and physical exam which will then determine the rest of the work-up. ...Read more

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In what way can shock cause respiratory failure?

What kind???: There are different types of shock so the precise answer depends on the type of shock you are asking about. But, in general, shock results in an inflammatory cascade which can cause respiratory failure mainly due to the build up of acids in the blood. The acids result in the person having to increase their breathing and this can lead to fatigue making ventilator support necessary. ...Read more

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What does it mean when someone has respiratory failure?

What does it mean when someone has respiratory failure?

Two types: The lung does two things, it provides oxygen and eliminates co2. If either fails then that is respiratory failure, and the causes can be many; (pneumonia, severe asthma attack, severe emphysema, heart failure, muscular weakness, lung injusry from fire, drugs, inhalation injry etc., ). Respiratory failure can also be acute or chronic. ...Read more

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What is the treatment for respiratory failure?

What is the treatment for respiratory failure?

Depends...: Respiratory failure results when a person is not able to adequately ventilate themselves. This can be caused by many conditions so part of the treatment is to treat the underlying cause. In the meantime, the patient would likely need oxygen therapy, non-invasive or even invasive artificial ventilation, depending on the severity of the respiratory failure. Abgs would help determine initial therapy. ...Read more

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Can having broken ribs lead to respiratory failure from asthma?

Can having broken ribs lead to respiratory failure from asthma?

Indirectly...: Fractured rib can lead to shallow breathing due to pain which can lead to retained secretions. The retained secretions can lead to bronchitis or pneumonia. The bronchitis or pneumonia can lead to an asthma exacerbation that can result in respiratory failure. This would be a relatively rare but theoretically possible sequence of events prevented by deep breathing and secretion clearance. ...Read more

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Why do people get respiratory failure?

Why do people get respiratory failure?

Many reasons: They may have underlying lung disease which is made worse by an infection or other trigger, or they may have an overwhelming other problem such as a heart attack, stroke, sepsis, major trauma or a variety of other things. Bottom line, there is a failure to oxygenate, or failure to ventilate, or both. Treatment and prognosis depends on all of the above. Hope this helps! ...Read more

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Can i die from acute respiratory failure?

Can i die from acute respiratory failure?

Yes: That is what most people die with that is when there is inadequate oxygenation and the ability to breath. ...Read more

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What are the tests for respiratory failure?

Depends...: The diagnosis of respiratory failure is typically made on the basis of abgs and the overall clinical picture. But, the cause of the respiratory failure needs to be diagnosed so it can be treated. To diagnose the cause of the respiratory failure requires a diagnostic work-up beginning with a history and physical exam which will then determine the rest of the work-up. ...Read more

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How does shock lead to respiratory failure?

How does shock lead to respiratory failure?

See below: In response to shock, the body secretes many substances, called cytokines, which may be damaging to the lungs causing an acute inflammatory reaction. ...Read more

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How painful is death from respiratory failure?

How painful is death from respiratory failure?

It varies: If you see people who are drowning, they really struggle at the beginning. People who develop resp failure from sepsis or copd, they suffer initially, but as the co2 rises it serves as a narcotic and we see them gasping but probably not suffering once consciousness wanes. But acute resp failure from any cause makes someone struggle. So please don't do anything bad. ...Read more

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So what are the symptoms of respiratory failure?

Difficulty breathing: Strictly speaking respiratory failure is when there is 1) failure of the drive to breathe 2)inadequate air flow 3)inadequate transport of oxygen 4) failure of the chest wall and diaphragm 5) lung disease which limits the performance of normal lung functions. Sometimes artificial support with mechanical ventilation can temporarily provide time for the lung to repair. ...Read more

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Dr. Steven Griggs
7 doctors shared insights

Respiratory System (Definition)

The respiratory system consists of all organs in the body related to breathing including the nose, mouth, trachea and lungs. All four of these are ...Read more


Dr. Ihab Ibrahim
1 doctor shared a insight

Respiratory (Definition)

Pertaining to the work of breathing done by the chest ...Read more