Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student Scholarship

Date Written

Summer 2016

Document Type


Course Number


Course Name

Advanced Pathophysiology

Professor’s Name

Dr. John Chovan


ARDS, Respiratory, Distress, Syndrome, Pathophysiology

Subject Categories

Medical Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is defined as lung failure with a ratio of partial pressure oxygen (PaO2) to fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) <100 (Michaels, Hill, Long, Young, Sperley, Shanks, & Morgan, 2013). ARDS is characterized by acute, widespread pulmonary inflammation due to infection (viral or bacterial), trauma, and/or inhaled toxins (Aokage, Palmer, Ichiba, & Takeda, 2015). Approximately 150,000 patients are diagnosed with ARDS each year in the U.S. with reported mortality rates varying from 20%-40% (Butt, Kurdowska, & Allen, 2016; Drahnak & Custer, 2015). The pathophysiology of acute respiratory syndrome is complex, and can result from a number of different insults. Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a life threatening condition that requires aggressive treatment with close monitoring. Successful treatment of ARDS requires expert knowledge from physicians, advanced practice nurses, bedside nurses, and respiratory therapists; all of whom must understand the complex underlying pathophysiology and critical nature of this condition.



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