respiratory distress vs respiraotry failure

  1. 0
    I want to ask how is the difference between them? And how to differentiate them by clinical manifestation? Thanks a lot......

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  2. 11 Comments...

  3. 0
    anyone help???
  4. 0
    I don't know if there is an official definition...but I define it as distress- having a problem respiratory wise vrs failure- measurably getting worse with time.

    You can be in distress with a cough/cold, but stable and not be getting worse. Resp failure that is allowed to continue will eventually lead to death and is a more serious condition.
  5. 0
    Respiratory distress can be further broken down to mild, moderate, or severe respiratory distress. With mild resp distress, you may see minimal SOB, cough, slight wheezes, upper airway congestion. Moderate would involve more obvious SOB, tachypnea, abnormal breath sounds, use of accessory muscles, or pursed lip breathing. Severe resp distress would be obviously labored resps, severe tachypnea, poor color, fatigue/weakness from effort of breathing, audible wheezing/rales/rhonchi--needs immediate intervention or will progress to respiratory failure. Respiratory failure is when pt becomes apneic, requires mechanical ventilation, or is refractory to all attempted medical treatments to improve breathing. (This is just my own way of classifying, not from a textbook)
  6. 0
    So will pt become bradypnea before apneic in respiratory failure case????
  7. 0
    so what is respiratory distress syndrome??? is it same as respiratory distress???
  8. 0
    The job of the lung is too excrete CO2 and intakes O2. in respiratory distress, the gas exchange is altered due to some type of lung infection or fluid in alveoli which blocks O2/CO2 exchange. With respiratory failure, gas exchange altered or lung function deteriorate due to either brain control to the lung is affected or it could be due to an unknown cause which causes the lung failure to work properly.
  9. 1
    Respiratory distress is a symptom. It implies pathology.

    A person can experience respiratory distress for a mechanical reason...pneumothorax, chest trauma, or aspiration of foreign object might be examples.
    There are also physiologic reasons for distress such as infection.

    Respiratory failure describes a medical condition which requires ongoing intervention to minimize the symptoms and progress of the disease. That failure may be precipitated by a variety of things. We can experience chronic respiratory failure (COPD might be an example) or acute failure (drowning or ARDS would fall into this category) and part of our symptom burden would be varying degrees of respiratory distress.

    We can often treat distress with morphine, bronchodilators, oxygen, etc., and achieve some improvement of the symptoms. Sometimes acute distress will require mechanical support.

    A patient that is suffering from respiratory failure will have some distress. A patient that is suffering from respiratory distress may not have respiratory failure per se.

    This is not a text book answer, just a simplified summary of my accept it for what it is worth.
    bsnanat2 likes this.
  10. 0
    there are many text book answers that will show the classroom difference between them. but for practical preference...i consider it resp failure when they are on non-rebreather at flush and their resp drive vigor has not improved along with continued facial pallor, they are becomming less responsive to direct simple questions, they are now taking gulps of air..obviously they will becomming bradycardic "late sign". better crack the airway cart.
  11. 0
    Simply put: Resp distress, which is increased WOB, will lead to resp failure when the muscles can no longer do the work. similar to untrained legs trying to run a marathon.
    ARDS is filling of the alveoli with protiens leading to poor lung compliance. the muscles have to work harder to ventilate. This will lead to resp failure.

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