A patient's chest x-ray indicates acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The nurse understands that this condition results from:


•ARDS is a complication caused by another condition such as sepsis or trauma. ARDS develops from inflamation and increased capillary permeability, leading to pulmonary edema, decreased surfactant production, and acidosis.

•Pulmonary edema and decreased surfactant production increases the thickness of the alveolo-capillary space, increasing the distance oxygen must travel to reach the blood. This results in hypoxemia and acidosis.

•Pulmonary hypertension and severe acidosis does not lead to ARDS.

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