Urgent.....respiratory distress and respiratory failure

  1. Could anyone tell me the differences between respiratory distress and respiratory failure??? OR provide me some website and article....Thanks a billion!!!!!!!!!!!
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    About yatyu

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 71; Likes: 1


  3. by   Daytonite
    respiratory distress is discomfort or even pain with breathing. it is most often seen as a symptom rather than a diagnosis. the patients have a great deal of difficulty breathing and usually have shortness of breath and a lot of sputum that is interfering with respiration. the patient struggles for each and every breath.

    respiratory failure is when the lungs are just wearing out and can no longer function. they are failing, unsuccessful in carrying out their primary function. this is much different from respiratory distress. the patient will be unable to breath. respirations will be slow and bradypneic. without breathing assistance they will die.

    you can find the definitions of the words "discomfort" and "failure" in an english dictionary and they will tell you pretty much lead you to the same conclusions.
  4. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    Respiratory distress is when a patient is having difficulty in breathing as evidensed by examining the patient. THe patient may or may not compensate for the distress. Patients can have mild respiratory distress or severe distress which leads to respiratory failure.

    Respiratory failure is when the patient is in severe respiratory distress and is unable to compensate for that distress, and hypoxemia occurs (low oxygen saturation with relation to hemaglobin) and hypercapnia (high levels of co2) may also occur. Respiratory failure is very serious and patients in acute respiratory failure usually require mechanical ventilation.

    hope this helps

  5. by   yatyu
    Thanks a lot...And I want to ask if respiratory distress is same as respiratory distress syndrome??
  6. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    No Respiratory distress syndrome is a group of symtoms related to damage to certain parts of the lung that effects capilary membrane permiability. You can read all about it by clicking the link below.


  7. by   yatyu
    o......ic........but respiratory distress is same as dyspnea?

    when I type respiratory distress in yahoo....what I can c is RDS.......
  8. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    yes... they are pretty much the same thing.

    Yahoo is just showing you an article that includes respiratory distress. You probably wont have much luck finding the definition of that (respiratory distress) online

  9. by   yatyu
    now I am confused....I read a book.... They grouped dyspnea, hypoxia, hypercaria as "respiratory distress".....is it true...??
  10. by   yatyu
    if a patient has cough with a "stuffy nose" + "noisy breathing" + "breathing with difficulty" + "rib moving with breathing" +stridor".....

    Could we say she has respiratory distress???
    Last edit by yatyu on Jan 31, '07
  11. by   malenursesoon
    Resp distress is any condition or cause that would lead to increased work of breathing. There are a great number of underlying causes.

    Resp Failure is an entirely different animal. Resp failure is when Co2 is no longer removed adequately and/or O2 is no longer supplied to the cell mitocondria in adequate supply.
  12. by   cardiospec
    Can someone please tell me what the labs would be for the following in a patient with Acute Respiratory Failure?