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NHLBI

Respiratory Failure – Living With

Respiratory failure  acute respiratory failure  chronic respiratory failure  hypoxemic respiratory failure  hypercapnic respiratory failure  ventilator  CPAP  Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) 

For both acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) respiratory failure, it is important to follow your treatment plan, manage your condition, and know when you should seek medical care. You may need pulmonary rehabilitation to help your lungs work better. Your oxygen and carbon dioxide levels may take a while to return to a healthy range. Because of this, you may continue to have shortness of breath or other symptoms for a few weeks or longer. You may need to do daily activities more slowly.

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NHLBI

Respiratory Failure – Treatment

Respiratory failure  acute respiratory failure  chronic respiratory failure  hypoxemic respiratory failure  hypercapnic respiratory failure  ventilator  CPAP  Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) 

Acute respiratory failure can be life-threatening and may need a quick diagnosis and emergency medical treatment in a hospital. Emergency treatment can help quickly improve your breathing and provide oxygen to your body to help prevent organ damage. Your healthcare team will then treat the cause of your respiratory failure. Treatments for respiratory failure may include oxygen therapy, medicines, and procedures to help your lungs rest and heal.

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NHLBI

Respiratory Failure – Diagnosis

Respiratory failure  acute respiratory failure  chronic respiratory failure  hypoxemic respiratory failure  hypercapnic respiratory failure  ventilator  CPAP  Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) 

Your doctor will check your medical history, perform a physical exam, and do tests and procedures to diagnose respiratory failure.

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NHLBI

Respiratory Failure – Signs, Symptoms, and Complications

Respiratory failure  acute respiratory failure  chronic respiratory failure  hypoxemic respiratory failure  hypercapnic respiratory failure  ventilator  CPAP  Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) 

Symptoms of respiratory failure depend on its cause, the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood, and whether respiratory failure developed slowly over time or suddenly. You may start out with mild symptoms such as shortness of breath or rapid breathing, which may get worse over time. Acute respiratory failure can be a life-threatening emergency. Respiratory failure may cause damage to your lungs and other organs, so it is important to get treated quickly.

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NHLBI

Respiratory Failure – Screening and Prevention

Respiratory failure  acute respiratory failure  chronic respiratory failure  hypoxemic respiratory failure  hypercapnic respiratory failure  ventilator  CPAP  Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) 

If you have a condition that puts you at risk of respiratory failure, talk to your doctor. He or she can ask questions and do a physical exam to look for issues that may put you at risk of getting respiratory failure in the future. Your doctor can also talk to you about how to manage your condition to prevent respiratory failure. He or she can also screen you if you have a planned surgery.

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NHLBI

Respiratory Failure – Risk Factors

Respiratory failure  acute respiratory failure  chronic respiratory failure  hypoxemic respiratory failure  hypercapnic respiratory failure  ventilator  CPAP  Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) 

You may have an increased risk of respiratory failure because of your age, environment or occupation, lifestyle habits, and other medical conditions or medicines and procedures.

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NHLBI

Respiratory Failure - Causes

Respiratory failure  acute respiratory failure  chronic respiratory failure  hypoxemic respiratory failure  hypercapnic respiratory failure  ventilator  CPAP  Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) 

Any condition or injury that affects breathing can cause respiratory failure. The condition or injury may affect your airways or lungs. Or it may affect the muscles, nerves, and bones that help you breathe.

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NHLBI

Ventilator/Ventilator Support - What to Expect When Going Home on a Ventilator

Mechanical Ventilator  Breathing Machine 

If you need to be on a ventilator for the long term and your condition is stable, you may be able to use a ventilator at home. This can help avoid some of the complications of long hospital stays and improve your quality of life. You will likely use the ventilator with a trach tube or face mask.

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NHLBI

Ventilator/Ventilator Support - What to Expect When You're Ready to Be Taken Off a Ventilator

Mechanical Ventilator  Breathing Machine 

After most surgeries, your doctor will disconnect the ventilator once the anesthesia wears off and you begin breathing on your own. They will remove the tube from your throat. This usually happens before you completely wake up from surgery. When you wake up, you may not even know that you were connected to a ventilator. The only sign may be a slight sore throat for a short time. The sore throat is caused by the tube that connects the ventilator to your airway.

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NHLBI

Ventilator/Ventilator Support - What Are the Risks of Being on a Ventilator?

Mechanical Ventilator  Breathing Machine 

One of the most serious and common risks of being on a ventilator is pneumonia. The breathing tube makes it hard for you to cough. Coughing helps clear your airways of germs that can cause infections. The breathing tube that is put into your airway can allow bacteria to enter your lungs. As a result, you may develop pneumonia.

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