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Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Children

Keywords: Acute respiratory distress syndrome , children

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Abstract:

Acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are an important challenge for pediatric intensive care units. These disorders are characterized by a significant inflammatory response to a local (pulmonary) or remote (systemic) insult resulting in injury to alveolar epithelial and endothelial barriers of the lung, acute inflammation and protein rich pulmonary edema. The reported rates in children vary from 8.5 to 16 cases/1000 pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admissions. The pathological features of ARDS are described as passing through three overlapping phases-an inflammatory or exudative phase (0-7 days), a proliferative phase (7-21 days) and lastly a fibrotic phase. The treatment of ARDS rests on good supportive care and control of initiating cause. Ventilatory modes and nursing interventions to optimize patient outcomes are identified. The goal of ventilating patients with ALI/ARDS should be to maintain adequate gas exchange. Lung protective mechanical ventilation with optimal lung recruitment is the mainstay of supportive therapy. This can be achieved by use of optimum PEEP, low tidal volume and appropriate FiO2. New therapeutic modalities refer to corticosteroid, high frequency ventilation, inhaled nitric oxide, prone positioning and surfactant treatment. Well-designed follow up studies are needed. [Archives Medical Review Journal 2009; 18(4.000): 241-259]

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