Respiratory Failure

What is Respiratory Failure?

Respiratory failure happens when some fluids get accumulated in the air sack of the patient's lungs. Due to this fluid, the lungs are not able to release oxygen into the blood. Deficiency of oxygen leads to malfunctioning of the body's vital functions. Respiratory failure usually develops due to an injury or illness.


Symptoms of respiratory failure include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Tiredness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Unusual rapid breathing


Causes of respiratory failure include:

  • Major injury
  • Sepsis
  • Inhalation of harmful substances
  • Severe pneumonia
  • Pancreatitis
  • -Massive Blood Transfusion


Factors that increase the risk of respiratory railure include:

  • Sepsis
  • History of chronic alcoholism
  • Blood clots
  • Infection


Respiratory failure can be prevented by:

  • Trauma prevention
  • Treatment of any kind of illness.
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid alcohol

How is it diagnosed?

The identification of respiratory failure is based on chest X-ray, physical examination and oxygen levels. To diagnose respiratory failure, the specialist may perform the various tests:


How is it treated?

The objective of the treatment is to increase the level of oxygen in the blood that can be done by:


  • Mechanical ventilation

    People suffering from respiratory failure need external help to increase the level of oxygen in their blood. In this treatment, a ventilator is used to pump air into the lungs and force out the fluid from the air sacs. 

  • Oral medications

    Medications that treat infections and prevent blood clots are given to the patient suffering from respiratory failure. Medications which sedate the patient can be used to decrease the pain.

  • Supplemental oxygen

    For instant medical care, oxygen is delivered through a face mask.

When do I contact the doctor?

One should contact the doctor if any prominent signs or symptoms of respiratory failure are observed.

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How does Medanta provide care?

Medanta Institute of Critical Care and Anaesthesiology constitutes a devoted team of critical care doctors who deal with the most seriously ill patients. The facility is equipped with state of the art technology and has a capacity of 300 ICU beds...

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