Acute respiratory failure, causes, symptoms, first emergency medical care for acute respiratory failure.

Acute respiratory failure is a syndrome in which the function of external respiration (oxygen supply to the respiratory tract) is disrupted, and as a result, the necessary gas exchange in the lungs is not ensured (i.e., oxygen supply and carbon dioxide removal are disrupted). Against the background of this syndrome, the oxygen content in the blood and tissues decreases significantly (sometimes critically), and the level of carbon dioxide in the blood increases. 

Acute respiratory failure, causes, symptoms, first aid in acute respiratory failure.

Acute respiratory failure is caused by many separate causes and their combinations. Acute respiratory failure develops in violation of airway patency at different levels. This is sometimes associated with foreign bodies, pulmonary hemorrhage. It can be associated with respiratory disorders on the background of a coma of any origin, with traumatic brain injury, meningitis, etc..

, signs of inhibition of the central nervous system, in some cases – involuntary urination.

Acute respiratory failure associated with disorders in the pulmonary circulation, is manifested by characteristic signs of pulmonary edema. Small and medium-bubbly wheezing is heard over the entire surface of the chest, and pinkish sputum is released from the patient’s mouth. A person’s heart rate, shortness of breath and blueness of the skin, mucous membranes increase.

According to the severity of violations of the functions of general respiration and gas exchange in the lungs, it is customary to distinguish 4 degrees of respiratory failure:

– I degree of respiratory failure (compensatory) is determined by shortness of breath with difficulty breathing, increased heart rate and increased blood pressure; possible development of dyspnea without violating the ratio of the duration of inspiration and expiration.

– II degree of respiratory failure (subcompensatory) is manifested by cyanosis of the skin and mucous membranes and the inclusion of auxiliary muscles in the breath.

– III degree of respiratory failure (decompensatory) is characterized by severe shortness of breath, shortening of breath and violation of its rhythm. The participation of auxiliary muscles during breathing increases, the pulse becomes more pronounced, blood pressure drops significantly. Consciousness may be impaired; seizures are not ruled out.

– IV degree of respiratory failure is also called hypoxic coma. With it, critically rare breathing is noted, at times – its absence. The color of the skin and mucous membranes is cyanotic throughout the body, blood pressure decreases to life-threatening indicators, there may be a sharp depression of the respiratory center and respiratory arrest and cardiac activity.

First aid for acute respiratory failure.

Emergency care for a person with acute respiratory failure directly depends on its degree and form. Resuscitation in the terminal stage of acute respiratory failure (with hypoxic coma), as a rule, is ineffective, therefore, treatment of acute respiratory failure in the early stages is of particular importance.

Until the cause is clarified, the patient is strictly contraindicated in the administration of sedative, hypnotic and antipsychotic drugs, as well as narcotic painkillers. You should definitely call the ambulance team. The patient should be immediately hospitalized in the specialized department of the hospital. The patient must be laid with a raised headboard to facilitate breathing. Remove tight chest clothing, unfasten collar, belt, etc..

If the patient has removable dentures, then they are removed. The intake of food and liquid in this condition is prohibited. It is required to provide access of fresh air to the room. Among the simplest measures to eliminate acute respiratory failure in case of chest injuries are analgesia. 2 ml of tramadol, 2-4 ml of a 50% solution of metamizole sodium are injected intravenously or intramuscularly, as well as oxygen through a mask or nasal catheter.

First you need to restore airway patency – suck blood, saliva, mucus and, if possible, remove foreign bodies. When cardiac activity and breathing stop, resuscitation is performed. Further medical assistance is provided by health workers depending on the causes of acute respiratory failure.

Based on the book “Quick help in emergency situations”.
Kashin S.P..

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