Emergency. ARDS is a general term for acute respiratory failure in which the capillaries in the lungs leak causing the air spaces to fill with fluid. There are many causes. Treatment requires supplemental oxygen and a search for the underlying cause. Mechanical ventilation with a "breathing machine" temporarily is necessary in many cases.
Lung injury. In certain conditions such as sepsis and trauma the fragile membrane where air exchange takes place in the lung is damaged by inflammatory chemicals in the blood. This causes the barrier to leak and the air spaces can fill with fluid blocking appropriate air transfer. The lungs also become stiff and difficult to inflate increasing the work of breathing.
Broad. Bad lung disease with high mortality, 50% or so will find no obvious cause. Aspiration and pneumonia and sepsis (overwhelming infection) are the most common causes along with many others.
Variable. Some people return to their previous state of health, but most have some lingering effects even as long as a year afterwards. Significant permanent impairment happens in about 10% of patients. Some of the effects are subtle an can only be detected with pulmonary function tests. Some people have a loss of energy and shortness of breath.
Breathing Failure. Ards, or acute respiratory distress syndrome, is a lung condition which causes scarring and inflammation of the lungs due to another cause: infection, pneumonia, inflammation of the pancreas, or other unknown causes. Typically, patients with ARDS require a respirator and can need one for days to weeks. The typical symptoms are difficulty breathing, low oxygen levels. It almost always needs a hosp.
Trouble breathing. The one symptoms that all who get ARDS is dyspnea, which progresses to an inability to breath on their own. Cough may be present, but not always, fever may be present, as well as chest tightness. Pain is usually absent.
ARDS. ARDS, now know as acute respiratory distress syndrome, is an acute inflammatory respiratory illness resulting from lung injury that usually leads to respiratory failure and need for intubation/mechanical ventilation. It can be caused by an initial insult directly (as in a pneumonia) or indirectly (sepsis) to the lungs.
Go to ER... If a person is having difficulty breathing, they should get to an er immediately. In the er, if adult respiratory distress syndrome is present, the person will likely need to be on a mechanical ventilator while the possible causes are ruled out. Other medications, like antibiotics, will be needed depending on the cause of the ARDS in that particular case. Many causes for ARDS exist.