How is acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) prevented?

Updated: Mar 27, 2020
  • Author: Eloise M Harman, MD; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Although multiple risk factors for ARDS are known, no successful preventive measures have been identified. Careful fluid management in high-risk patients may be helpful. Because aspiration pneumonitis is a risk factor for ARDS, taking appropriate measures to prevent aspiration (eg, elevating the head of the bed and evaluating swallowing mechanics before feeding high-risk patients) may also prevent some ARDS cases.

In patients without ARDS on mechanical ventilation, the use of high tidal volumes appears to be a risk factor for the development of ARDS, and, therefore, the use of lower tidal volumes in all patients on mechanical ventilation may prevent some cases on ARDS. [58]

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