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Doctor insights on: Ventilator Dependent Respiratory Failure

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Dr. Richard Beasley Dr. Beasley
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
11 years in practice
Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
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Is it possible to live on a ventilator forever with respiratory failure?

Is it possible to live on a ventilator forever with respiratory failure?

No one lives forever: One could live many years on a ventilator with a tracheostomy (hole in the neck) depending on the cause and other factors, but its not without its complications, and quality of life must come into play.

Dr. Sue Ferranti
107 Doctors shared insights

Respiratory Failure (Definition)

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 ...Read more


Dr. Mario Mangas Dr. Mangas
Internal Medicine
34 years in practice
Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine
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Can it be possible for you to live on a ventilator with respiratory failure forever?

Can it be possible for you to live on a ventilator with respiratory failure forever?

Respiratory failure: The simple answer is yes. It's like being on dialysis when you have Kidney failure. The ventilator does the work and your lung exchange the oxygen and carbon dioxide. You have to provided the ventilation and oxygen needed. Example of long term ventilator patients include ALS or end stage Emphysema.

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Dr. Nestor Del rosario Dr. Del rosario
Addiction Medicine
30 years in practice
Eastern Virginia Medical School
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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.

Dr. Nestor Del rosario Dr. Del rosario
Addiction Medicine
30 years in practice
Eastern Virginia Medical School
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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.

Dr. Charles Burger Dr. Burger
Internal Medicine - Pulmonology
32 years in practice
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What number of people on average die of respiratory failure?

What number of people on average die of respiratory failure?

RESP Failure: If you're referring to Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome or ARDS, there are about 200, 000 cases with 75, 000 deaths annually

Dr. Michael DePietro Dr. DePietro
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
31 years in practice
Hahnemann Medical College
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How are respiratory failure and respiratory arrest different?

Partial versus full: The job of the respiratory system, breathing, is to get oxygen from the air into the body (the oxygen is fuel just like it is for a fire). It is also to eliminate the waste gas which is carbon dioxide. When the respiratory system can not do this job and either oxygen levels drop or carbon dioxide levels in the blood go up it's respiratory failure. If one stopped breathing its respiratory arrest

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Dr. Hassan Bencheqroun Dr. Bencheqroun
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
18 years in practice
Mohammed V University Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy
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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.

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Dr. Rada Ivanov Dr. Ivanov
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
27 years in practice
Medical Academy, Higher Medical Institute of Sofia
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What is the cause of death for respiratory failure?

What is the cause of death for respiratory failure?

See below: There are two types of respiratory failure - hypoxic where the body does not get enough oxygen, and hypercapneic, where the lungs cannot wash out the carbon dioxide. Either one can cause death. Usually, we can give supplemental oxygen or help with various machines to blow off the co2 but if the underlying lung disease cannot be reversed, that results in death.

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Dr. Matt Malkin Dr. Malkin
Anesthesiology
12 years in practice
University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
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Is respiratory failure curable, or is the person doomed?

Is respiratory failure curable, or is the person doomed?

Varies: Some will recover quickly. Some may need months of weaning therapy to get off ventilator. Some will never breathe on own. Depends entirely on cause, as it is a symptom of many problems. Resp failure does not always mean lung problem-just inability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide enough to live or protect airway, so can be due to sepsis, heart failure, muscle dz, brain damage, etc.

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Dr. Michael Taylor Dr. Taylor
Critical Care
18 years in practice
University of Louisville School of Medicine
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If you had to boil it down, what is respiratory failure?

If you had to boil it down, what is respiratory failure?

Several reasons: Respiratory failure usually occurs due to one or more of the following...The inability to get oxygen into the blood, the inability to get carbon dioxide out of the blood, a problem with the nerves or muscles that do the work of breathing, or airway obstruction.

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Dr. Dennis Clifford Dr. Clifford
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
39 years in practice
University of Minnesota Medical School
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What is the recovery like after having respiratory failure and after being resuscitated?

What is the recovery like after having respiratory failure and after being resuscitated?

Depends on cause: Respiratory failure from infection or sepsis is generally reversible. If it is due to an underlying disease like COPD or heart disease the recovery will not be complete and may result in worse functional status and prolonged recovery.

Dr. William Walsh Dr. Walsh
Addiction Medicine
13 years in practice
Indiana University School of Medicine
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What is the disease from pine tree sap that causes respiratory failure?

What is the disease from pine tree sap that causes respiratory failure?

Asthma or fibrosis: Plicatic and abietic acids from cedar and pine resin cause direct damage to human epithelial cells and chronic exposure can lead to either occupational asthma or (if the worker's response is worse) can lead to pulmonary fibrosis. Woodworker's lung is the name for the fibrosis associated with the chronic inhalation of pine or cedar dust.

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Dr. Frank Mayo Dr. Mayo
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
44 years in practice
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
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If someone has respiratory failure, what treatment is used to revive them?

If someone has respiratory failure, what treatment is used to revive them?

Respiratory support: Usual therapy is bronchodilators, bipap assisted ventilation if needed. Many diseases can cause respiratory failue including lung-copd, ipf, pneumonia), cardiac with severe congestive heart failure and neuromuscular failure to name a few

Dr. Ed Friedlander Dr. Friedlander
Pathology
40 years in practice
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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I've been smoking e-cigs about a year now very often n my breathing has got progressively worse. Can this b reversed or do I have respiratory failure?

I've been smoking e-cigs about a year now very often n my breathing has got progressively worse. Can this b reversed or do I have respiratory failure?

Try to stop: Whoever introduced you to e-cigs was NOT your friend. If they told you that they are "safe", they lied to you. Please do whatever you can to overcome this addiction. The damage to your lungs is not as bad as with regular cigs, but it is still real. Be tough and quit by whatever means you can.

Dr. Rada Ivanov Dr. Ivanov
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
27 years in practice
Medical Academy, Higher Medical Institute of Sofia
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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!

Dr. Sue Ferranti Dr. Ferranti
Internal Medicine
25 years in practice
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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.

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Dr. Rada Ivanov Dr. Ivanov
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
27 years in practice
Medical Academy, Higher Medical Institute of Sofia
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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.

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Dr. Dennis Clifford Dr. Clifford
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
39 years in practice
University of Minnesota Medical School
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So what are the symptoms of respiratory failure?

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.

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Dr. Sue Ferranti Dr. Ferranti
Internal Medicine
25 years in practice
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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.

Dr. Douglas Arenberg Dr. Arenberg
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
27 years in practice
University of Illinois College of Medicine
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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.

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Dr. James Dukelow
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. M. Hytham Beck
1 Doctor shared a insight

Respiratory (Definition)

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