Acute Respiratory Failure

Published on 26/03/2015 by admin

Filed under Critical Care Medicine

Last modified 26/03/2015

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9 Acute Respiratory Failure

Acute respiratory failure is one of the leading causes of admission to an intensive care unit (ICU). Behrendt et al. reported that the incidence of acute respiratory failure requiring hospitalization was 137 per 100,000 population in the United States, and the median age of the patients was 69 years.1 More recently, Ray et al. reported that 29% of patients presenting to an emergency department (ED) with acute respiratory failure require admission to an ICU.2

Acute respiratory failure can be secondary to either a failure of oxygenation (hypoxic respiratory failure), a failure of elimination of carbon dioxide (hypercarbic respiratory [ventilatory] failure), or both problems simultaneously. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with acute exacerbation is the most common cause of ventilatory failure requiring ICU admission.

image Causes of Hypoxic Respiratory Failure