Usually, kidney failure from sepsis is a
temporary problem. If treatment for the
ARDS Foundation offers information
infection is successful, the kidneys usually and support to patients and families
recover and dialysis can be stopped. who are dealing with a loved one in
Intravenous fluids and medications that crisis or after the crisis is over.
increase the blood pressure are used to ARDS FOUNDATION
prevent dangerously low blood pressure that 3100 DUNDEE RD. STE. 402
can lead to irreversible brain injury. If the NORTHBROOK, IL 60062
source the infection can be removed from the
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body (ie; appendicitis or abscess), surgery and their families.
may be an important part of the treatment
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Is there a difference among people · How to “Make a Difference” in the
that have recovered from ARDS that fight against ARDS
resulted from sepsis and those in · Prayer Circle
whom ARDS is attributed to other
There is limited information in this area.
Only a single study to date has considered
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the outcome of patients that recovered from And More!
ARDS with/due to sepsis to those that
recovered from ARDS due to trauma. This
study suggested that physical function, ARDS Foundation is constantly adding
general health, and “vitality” among those information, resources and stories, so
that recover from ARDS with sepsis, were
best among the patients in whom ARDS and
sepsis resulted from trauma
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For more information about Sepsis:
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EILEEN RUBIN ZACHARIAS‐PRESIDENT
PAULA J. BLONSKI‐VICE PRESIDENT
ARDS AND SEPSIS
What is ARDS? Other common findings in patients with sepsis half of all patients with ARDS also have sepsis.
include shaking chills, low blood pressure, The second leading cause of ARDS is sepsis
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) alterations in mental status (confusion or caused by an infection in some other part of the
occurs when there is extensive inflammation sleepiness), decreased urine output, and skin body, such as a urinary tract infection or an
in the lungs. This can be caused by several that is dusky or mottled and cool to the touch. infection in the skin (cellulitis). These infections
different diseases, including pneumonia and are responsible for approximately onethird of
sepsis. Regardless of what causes ARDS, lung all patients with ARDS. Individuals who
function is severely reduced, leading to develop ARDS from an infection in the lung and
What are common causes of sepsis?
shortness of breath and difficulty getting who also develop the sepsis syndrome usually
oxygen into the blood and removing carbon Sepsis is most frequently the result of an have a worse outcome (only 60% survive) than
dioxide. Older patients and those with overwhelming bacterial or fungal infection. those with ARDS from other causes such as
chronic diseases such as cirrhosis, renal Responsible organisms usually get into the blood trauma (76% survive). Mortality from ARDS
failure, and those with poor baseline lung stream from the lungs, intestinal tract, urinary increases with age.
function, tend to have a harder time with system, or skin. Once in the blood, these
ARDS. organisms trigger the bodywide inflammatory
response described above.
Does sepsis have adverse effects on
Sepsis may not always begin with an infection. organ systems other than the lungs?
What is Sepsis? Other common causes of sepsis are the same
things that can also cause ARDS. These include Sepsis can disrupt the normal function of most
Sepsis is what happens when a severe major organs in the body. Organs of note are
infection affects the entire body. Germs the aspiration of gastric contents into the lung,
severe body trauma, pancreatitis, and the the heart, kidneys, liver, and intestines. In
(bacteria, viruses, and fungi) and harmful severe cases of sepsis, mental status is also
germ substances (endotoxin) may be transfusion of blood products.
altered. As more organs are affected by
released into the bloodstream from an sepsis, the likelihood of survival decreases.
infection that was previously localized to a For example, persons with sepsis and single
part of the body, such as infected skin of the Are there different levels of sepsis? organ dysfunction have an 80% chance of
leg. Doctor’s say a patient has sepsis when surviving, whereas persons in which four
Sepsis can progress from a relatively mild
there is a known or suspected infection and organs are affected have only a 20% chance of
condition that responds quickly to antibiotics and
the patient has two or more of the following surviving their acute illness.
intravenous fluids, to severe sepsis in which
signs that indicate the infection is spreading
organs such as the kidneys, liver, and heart are
to the rest of the body:
adversely affected. Even more serious is septic
shock, in which intravenous fluids and special How is sepsis treated?
medications that typically increase the blood fail
1. Temperature > 38 C (ie; 100° F) or < The treatment of sepsis is directed at
to do so. Patients in this last group may not
36 C (ie; 97° F) (1) identifying and treating the responsible
infection with antibiotics and antifungals, and
2. Heart rate > 90 beats/minute
(2) supporting patient with failing organs until
3. Respiratory rate > 20 breaths/minute the associate systemic inflammatory response
What is the relationship between sepsis is controlled. In patient in whom the lungs are
4. High white blood cell count (> 12,000 and ARDS? affected, a breathing machine may be used
cell/microliter of blood) or low white
The most common cause of ARDS is sepsis from a until the lungs recover and are capable of
blood cell count (< 4000
lung infection, also known as pneumonia. Almost working on their own. Dialysis can be used for
cells/microliter of blood)
patients in whom the kidneys have failed.