Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a condition where both lungs are severely injured, usually due to pneumonia, shock, sepsis, physical trauma or chemical exposure.  Each year, more than 150,000 people are diagnosed with ARDS.  Approximately 50% survive.

To understand ARDS, the function of the lungs must be explained.  Generally, air is inhaled through the nose or mouth into the trachea, bronchi and, finally, into the alveoli where oxygen passes through thin walls into the bloodstream.  At the same time, carbon dioxide in the bloodstream is passed through the alveoli into the lungs where it is exhaled. 

The alveoli have been damaged in people with ARDS.  Tyically, they collapse or fill with fluid and lose their ability to receive oxygen or expel carbon dioxide.  Within a day or two, many people with progressive respiratory failure end up on mechanical ventilation.  Fibrosis (scar tissue) may then set in, making oxygen exchange even more difficult.  Everyone responds differently to ARDS, but there are several common complications, including:
  • barotrauma;
  • volutrauma;
  • bacterial infection;
  • organ dysfunction; and
  • delirium.
Treatment for ARDS may include antibiotics and pain medications, mechanical ventilation, a feeding tube and chemical paralytics.

The Bottar Law, PLLC legal team has been handling claims concerning acute respiratory distress syndrome for nearly three decades.  If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with ARDS following a medical procedure, have been diagnosed with ARDS after an infection, or have ARDS following a traumatic car accident or work injury, and you would like to know if you and/or your family are entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, medical expenses, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering, contact us today at (833) 268-8277 or by email at