Apr 6, 2014
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INDIRECT INSULT

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Septic, haemorrhagic and cardiogenic SHOCK

METABOLIC DISORDERS such as URAEMIA and pancreatitis (see PANCREAS, DISORDERS OF)

Bowel infarction

Drug ingestion

Massive blood transfusion, transfusion reaction (see TRANSFUSION OF BLOOD), CARDIOPULMONARY BYPASS, disseminated intravascular coagulation

Treatment The principles of management are supportive, with treatment of the underlying condition if that is possible. Oxygenation is improved by increasing the concentration of oxygen breathed in by the patient, usually with mechanical ventilation of the lungs, often using continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP). Attempts are made to reduce the formation of pulmonary oedema by careful management of how much fluid is given to the patient (fluid balance). Infection is treated if it arises, as are the possible complications of prolonged ventilation with low lung compliance (e.g. PNEUMOTHORAX). There is some evidence that giving surfactant through a nebuliser or aerosol may help to improve lung effectiveness and reduce oedema. Some experimental evidence supports the use of free-radical scavengers and ANTIOXIDANTS, but these are not commonly used. Other techniques include the inhalation of NITRIC OXIDE (NO) to moderate vascular tone, and prone positioning to improve breathing. In severe cases, extracorporeal gas exchange has been advocated as a supportive measure until the lungs have healed enough for adequate gas exchange. (See also RESPIRATORY DISTRESS SYNDROME; HYALINE MEMBRANE DISEASE; SARS.)

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