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Respiratory failure

  1. Reasons
  2. Symptoms
  3. Diagnosis
  4. Treatment
  5. Prevention

Respiratory failure

this is a special pathological condition. When it is in the patient not achieving the desired gas composition of blood or he supported as a result of excessive stress and compensatory opportunities of respiratory system

This is due to the fact that the body loses oxygen, but instead accumulates carbon dioxide. In this case, the partial pressure of oxygen in the blood, which is indicated by 2, falls below the level of 60 mm Hg. St, 2 and carbon dioxide greater than 45 mm Hg. article the result is oxygen starvation of the brain and heart. The syndrome is closely associated with the circulatory system, lack of external breath kompensiruet enhanced functioning of the heart.


Developed several classifications of respiratory failure, which are based on different factors

  • the mechanism of development gipoksicheski form (parenchymal, pulmonary days type) and hypercapnia (ventilation, days type)
  • the rate of development of acute insufficiency (develops within a few days or even hours), chronic respiratory insufficiency (develops months or years)
  • the severity techinicaly failure , II, III degree
  • the chronic course of the disease – the severity of symptoms , stages.


Causes of respiratory failure are in the damage of respiratory system in its various levels.

Often the cause of respiratory failure is a malfunction of the nervous system and respiratory center. It is caused by a drug overdose, damage to the respiratory center of the brain and cerebral circulatory disorders. Similar effects for the body are failures in the activities of the neuromuscular system. They appear due to neurological, infectious pathologies that damage the nervous system and affect the transmission of impulses to the respiratory muscles.

To cause respiratory failure can

when in the pleural cavity gets air and fluid accumulation in the pleural cavity.

Respiratory insufficiency develops as a result of diseases of the respiratory system, swelling of the throat, lungs, and chronic inflammatory processes in the bronchi, and proliferation of connective tissue in the lungs.


The symptoms of respiratory failure in children and in adults makes itself felt shortness of breath, frequent headaches, appearing mostly in the morning, daytime sleepiness, and frequent night awakenings, insomnia, memory impairment and nausea. The skin of the patient acquires a cyanotic hue, moderately reduces blood pressure. Changing the frequency and depth of respiratory movements of the sternum.

If the content of oxygen in the blood is rapidly reduced, instead increasing the amount of carbon dioxide, the patient may lose consciousness and fall into a coma.


In addition to the collection of complaints and details of medical history, the doctor examines the chest, examining the respiratory rate and heart rate, listening to lungs, the function of external respiration. Conducted laboratory studies of gas composition of blood and its acid-base status.


Treatment of respiratory failure should be performed in the complex. Acute respiratory failure require intensive care because of the short term development of the syndrome (sometimes the whole process takes only a few seconds), the body has no time to use compensatory abilities.

The primary therapy in the treatment of the syndrome is aimed at the elimination of the causes of respiratory diseases, heart failure, neuromuscular diseases. Acute conditions require dynamic monitoring of the patient parameters of external respiration, gas composition of blood.

To ensure good patency of the bronchi, carry out postural drainage. For this person come so that sputum retreated as much as possible. Parallel to prescribe drugs, dilution sputum, if it is viscous, as well as medicines, whose action is directed to the bronchi. In many cases, helps vibrating massage of the sternum.

The second degree of insufficiency of respiratory function is an indication for the artificial ventilation of the lungs. If the effect of medical treatment is reached, it is prescribed, but there is a real danger of suffocation, performed endotracheal intubation. To do this, in the trachea, we introduce a special tube, which should ensure a clear airway.

If the patient is in the supine position, the underlying pathology can join the infection for example,

. This development is trying to prevent. To do this, the patient provides the necessary fluid balance support tissue perfusion. With increased airway resistance are appointed by bronchodilators. If the condition is caused by bronchospasm, corticosteroids are used. The room in which the patient resides, must be well ventilated and heated in cold days, it is necessary to ensure maximum sterility. Also is antiviral and antimicrobial therapy.

The prognosis depends on the severity of the condition, the rate of growth syndrome, and the adequacy of therapy. The chronic form of respiratory failure significantly reduces the quality of life of the patient. Syndrome respiratory failure in the acute form are dangerous because of sudden respiratory arrest, the accession of secondary infection and possible death.


As mentioned above, respiratory failure is a complication of other diseases. Therefore preventive measures lies in timely treatment of disease can give such a complication. Pregnant women should have timely, in accordance with the schedule to be examined by a gynecologist.