- Results from acute or chronic malfunctions in gas exchange between the lungs and the blood causing hypoxia with or without hypercapnia.
- Patients may present with SOB, anxiety, confusion, tachypnoea, cardiac dysfunction, and cardiac arrest. CNS depression can occur as a result of lack of oxygenation of the blood and vital organs or excessive accumulation of carbon dioxide.
- Pulse oximetry, chest x-rays, and blood gas analysis are key diagnostic tests.
- Initial management involves ensuring that the upper airway is patent and clear of obstructions. Subsequent management involves supplemental oxygenation and ventilatory support with immediate attention to the underlying cause or causes for respiratory failure.
- Endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation are employed when other less invasive manoeuvres have failed.
Other related conditions
- Cardiac arrest
- Assessment of respiratory acidosis
- Assessment of respiratory alkalosis
- Asthma in children
- Acute asthma exacerbation in children
- Asthma in adults
- Acute asthma exacerbation in adults
- Occupational asthma
- Overview of pneumonia
- Community-acquired pneumonia
- Atypical pneumonia
- Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Bronchiolitis obliterans organising pneumonia
- Chlamydia pneumoniae infection
- Hospital-acquired pneumonia
- Chronic congestive heart failure
- Acute exacerbation of congestive heart failure
- Overview of COPD
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
- Obstructive sleep apnoea in adults
- Central sleep apnoea
Last updated: Oct 02, 2012