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15 July 2007 @ 11:28 am
Rarely do I post about people that need support. I've been keeping up w/ Collen's struggle-http://www.ardsil.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=11&t=000087
Her family updates regularly at http://www.caringbridge.org/cb/inputSiteName.do?method=search&siteName=colleenburns
Got this e-mail:
Ha Noi — A 28-year-old woman died yesterday of bird flu becoming Viet Nam’s second victim of the H5N1 virus this month, a hospital official said.

Deputy director Nguyen Hong Ha of the National Hospital for Contagious and Tropical Diseases confirmed that Phan Thi X died 13 days after being hospitalised.

X was taken to the hospital on June 8 in critical conditions with severe damage to both lungs and respiratory failure. She was immediately placed into intensive care for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).

She was placed on a respirator, and given a blood transfusion, antibiotics and Tamiflu.

Fluid, though, had built up in both lungs; the infection had reached a point where it was highly improbable she would survive, said doctors.

X became ill in her home province of Ha Nam, 60km south of Ha Noi, after being in contact with sick birds. Test results showed she had been infected with the H5N1 virus.

Ha Nam is one of the 16 provinces and two cities that have been hit by the deadly bird flu strain since it re-emerged in Viet Nam late last year.

Viet Nam has reported five human cases of H5N1 this year, of which two have succumbed to the disease - the first death being a 20-year-old man from Ha Tay Province on June 10. — VNS

18 June 2007 @ 08:21 pm
I deleted my my_everday_life account, but am still here and kicking. Just didn't feel like I needed two journals. I'm more than happy to add people back to this one.

How is everyone doing? How is your summer going; depending on where you live winter I guess(have a friend on lj who is in winter, so others might be as well).
This article was in my e-mail box.

The simplest way to explain ARDS(I loved this article)

What is Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome?
By Anonymous

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a life threatening problem in which the lungs are severely injured. Inflammation (swelling) occurs throughout the lungs. In the lung tissue tiny blood vessels leak fluid and the air sacs (alveoli) collapse or fill with fluid. This fluid buildup keeps the lungs from working well. Persons with this problem will have trouble getting enough oxygen in and removing carbon dioxide from the body, and become short of breath. Persons with ARDS must be given extra oxygen and will usually need the help of a mechanical ventilator (respirator) to breathe. With medical care, many people with ARDS survive and recover. However, about 40 % of people with ARDS die from the syndrome, even with intensive treatment.

Who gets ARDS?

It is estimated that ARDS affects about 150,000 Americans per year. ARDS can occur in many situations, though it often affects people who are being treated for another serious illness. A person can develop ARDS even if he or she has not had lung disease or a lung condition in the past.

What causes ARDS?

The causes of ARDS are not well understood. ARDS develops from a sudden injury, either direct or indirect. Examples of common injuries that are direct include: pneumonia, inhaling one's vomit (called aspiration), breathing in harmful fumes or smoke, and chest trauma, for example, a severe blow to the chest or other accident that bruises the lungs. Examples of common injuries that are "indirect" (associated with problems occurring in other parts of the body) include: severe and widespread bacterial infection in the body (called sepsis), severe injury to the body that causes a low blood pressure, bleeding that requires blood transfusions, and inflammation of the pancreas (called pancreatitis).

What are the symptoms of ARDS?

People with ARDS generally have one or more of the following symptoms: shortness of breath, cough (often with white or pink frothy sputum), fatigue, fever, or abdominal pain (in pancreatitis).

How is ARDS diagnosed?

There are a number of tests the health care team may do to see if a person has ARDS such as a chest X-ray, blood tests, and evaluation of the blood or phlegm to determine infection.

It can be difficult to diagnose ARDS in people who have underlying medical problems that cause similar symptoms. Pneumonia can share many of the same symptoms as ARDS and may progress to ARDS.

How is ARDS treated?

At present, there is no specific treatment for ARDS. Treatment consists of two goals, first to treat any medical problem that led to the lung injury and second, to support the person's breathing (usually with a respirator) until the lungs heal. Most people with ARDS are treated in the intensive care unit (ICU) or critical care unit (CCU) of a hospital.

Therapies commonly used for ARDS include:

* Breathing support from a mechanical ventilator (respirator) combined with oxygen therapy (See ATS Patient Information Series fact sheets on Mechanical Ventilation and Oxygen Therapy).

* Medicines to keep the person calm and comfortable while on the ventilator. The person may be given medicine to keep them sleepy and control their pain so that they can rest and recover. Sometimes medicine is used to temporarily relax the person's breathing muscles. This allows the respirator to deliver the optimal amount of oxygen and air into the lungs.

* Other medicines that may be needed include antibiotics (to treat bacterial infections), vasopressors (to maintain blood pressure), diuretics (to treat excess fluid) or blood thinners (to prevent blood clots).

* Sometimes a person may be positioned face down (prone) for periods of time to help the lungs work better.

* While on a ventilator a person cannot eat by mouth, so nutrition is usually given with a feeding tube placed through the nose and down into the stomach or small intestine.

* If a person needs support from a ventilator for a longer time or has problems with his or her airway, a tracheostomy, or a surgical opening in the neck, may be done. (See ATS fact sheet on Tracheostomy).

What is an ICU and what can I expect to see in the Unit?

Intensive care units (ICU) are areas in the hospital where the most seriously ill patients are cared for by a specially trained health care team. The team includes doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, physical therapists, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers, and clergy. The ICU team works closely together to provide the best possible care. Patients in the ICU are often connected to a variety of machines, monitors and tubes, and while it can be overwhelming to see so many pieces of equipment, each item does its job to help the person recover.

What complications may occur with ARDS?

* A lung injury such as a pneumothorax (collapse of part or all of one or both lungs) may occur from the mechanical ventilator. This may require the insertion of a chest tube (thoracostomy tube) to reinflate the lung (See ATS fact sheet on Chest Tube Thoracostomy)

* Infections can develop that will need to be treated with antibiotics.

* Mental confusion may occur in the ICU (called ICU delirium). Confusion may occur due to variety of factors including effects from medications, lack of sleep, pain, effects of infections or lack of oxygen being delivered to the body. This usually improves or resolves with time as the person gets better.

* Damage to major organs (kidney, heart, liver, brain, blood) may occur due to effects of severe infections or lack of oxygen being delivered throughout the body. Sometimes even with intensive care and use of a ventilator, the lungs are too damaged to deliver enough oxygen. Damage to any of these major organs can be very serious and require additional treatment. Having many organs functioning poorly results in a greater risk of death.

Is ARDS fatal?

ARDS is a serious, sometimes fatal medical problem that can also be very unpredictable. Some people recover within a short period of time, while others may not recover for weeks or months. Some people have no complications at all and others seem to develop many. Some people with ARDS die quickly, while others die after a prolonged illness. The ups and downs of this critical illness may seem like an "emotional rollercoaster" for patients, families and friends. Yet, many people do survive. It is important for family and friends to remain hopeful, and seek guidance about how they can help promote healing. It is also important that family members take care of themselves to avoid getting too tired or worn down. Talking with the medical team to understand what is happening and what might be expected day to day may be helpful.

After leaving the hospital, the ARDS survivors may need help while recovering at home though the amount of help needed will vary. They may need oxygen (temporarily or permanently) or physical or occupational therapy. They may also continue to experience the following problems (temporarily or permanently): shortness of breath, cough, phlegm or sputum production from the lungs, hoarseness, lack of energy and loss of stamina, muscle weakness, anxiety, depression of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

A person recovering from ARDS will need check-ups with his or her health care provider, who will monitor their improvement, and check their lung function on a regular basis. The health care provider may also refer the person to a pulmonary specialist or a pulmonary rehabilitation program to help him or her regain stamina (see ATS fact sheet on Pulmonary Rehabilitation).


ATS Primer on Critical Care


ARDS Foundation: Facts about ARDS


ARDS Support Center: Understanding ARDS




Key Points

* ARDS is a serious life threatening problem that requires intensive care.

* Injury to the lungs may be corrected quickly or require weeks to months of treatment.

* Family members and friends of a person with ARDS generally have many questions. Write down your questions and talk regularly with the health care team.

* Support your loved one by learning what you can do to promote his or her recovery.

Doctor's Office Telephone:

The ATS Patient Information Series is a public service of the American Thoracic Society and its journal the AJRCCM (www.atsjournals.org). The information appearing in this series is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the medical advice of one's personal health care provider. For further information about this series, contact J.Corn at jcorn@thoracic.org.

Copyright American Thoracic Society Apr 1, 2007

(c) 2007 American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

Source: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
12 March 2007 @ 08:07 pm
I just wanted to quickly say hello to everyone and ask how all of you are doing. I've been absent the past few months and am finally able to be active online once again. Please, if you have any questions or subjects to talk about feel free to post an entry to this community.

Take care,
17 September 2006 @ 10:28 pm
I was just reading one of the ARDS newsletters, I'm a bit behind, and saw that if you use http://www.goodsearch.com/ as your search engine it will donate money to the ARDS foundation http://www.ardsil.com/ This foundation has been going strong for awhile now, not only online, but it also does conferences, walks, and other various things to raise money. I know it has supported a lot of people over the years and I wish my family would have found one of the active sites while I was in the hospital(this one wasn't around back than). I think it would have been helpful to them. I know it has been helpful to me in the past and I have been able to communicate with various people that I can relate to along w/ give support to those that have loved ones in crisis from time to time.

I hope you all are doing well.

aka my_everday_life
26 April 2006 @ 11:36 pm
Finding Could Improve Lung Disease Treatment
By Ed Edelson
HealthDay Reporter
Wed Apr 26, 7:08 PM ET

WEDNESDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- New research is answering a key question in the treatment of a dangerous lung condition called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS): How much pressure should be applied to open a partially collapsed lung?
ARDS develops in people who suffer major injuries or are critically ill with diseases such as pneumonia or bacterial infections. Fluid builds up in the lungs until breathing becomes impossible. The death rate is close to 40 percent.

There is one at least partially effective treatment, positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP), in which doctors force air into the lung to reverse the collapse. But PEEP remains something of a puzzle, because the response varies from patient to patient. A U.S. government-sponsored study two years ago found no difference in survival between patients given high or low levels of PEEP.

The reason for the puzzling result, according to an Italian team, is that the effect of PEEP varies according to the amount of "recruitable" (usable) lung tissue in different patients.

"In ARDS, the percentage of potentially recruitable lung is extremely variable and is strongly associated with the response to PEEP," noted a team led by Dr. Luciano Gattinoni of the Universita degli Studi di Milano, in Milan. The researchers published their findings in the April 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"The question is whether opening the lung as much as possible helps," said Dr. Robert Hyzy, assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan, and an ARDS expert. "The issue of whether to open the lung in patients with lung injury is a controversial one."

The Italian researchers sought to settle the issue by using computed tomography to measure the amount of recruitable lung tissue in patients undergoing PEEP at different pressures. They found that many patients could not respond to an increase in PEEP pressure because they had very little recruitable tissue.

In those patients, the use of PEEP could cause damage by overexpanding the lungs, noted an accompanying editorial by Drs. Arthur S. Slutsky of the University of Toronto and Leonard D. Hudson of the University of Washington, in Seattle.

The Italian study "could possibly explain" the results of the U.S. trial, said Slutsky, who is professor of medicine, surgery and biomedical engineering at the University of Toronto.

The finding that PEEP did not improve survival in all patients "may be because higher levels of PEEP were used in all patients," he said. "It's possible that PEEP could have helped those patients who developed recruitment and made things worse for those who did not get any recruitment from the higher PEEP level."

The study "provides a potential solution to the problem of identifying which patients may benefit from PEEP," the editorial said. Doing computed tomography as pressure is increased "can be used to identify which collapsed units have a high potential for reopening," it said. "Hence, this approach could be used to identify which patients may benefit from higher levels of PEEP and which may potentially be harmed."

But there are questions to be answered, the editorial added. The PEEP pressure used in the Italian study might not be the best for monitoring patients; the researchers did not say how much recruitable tissue is needed for higher PEEP pressure to be used; and computed tomography is not practical in ordinary medical practice.

But the study does have a "major message," the editorial said: "Future studies investigating the optimal strategy for the setting of PEEP levels must take into account the degree to which the lungs can be recruited."

More information

For more on ARDS, head to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
If you were a family member that had a loved one going through ARDS what did the hosptial staff do that you apperciated or not apperciate for you?

I was having a conversation w/ someone who went through ARDS tonight on messanger and we spoke about what small things made our hosptialztion better and some that annoyed us.

So many question is what things did you apperciate it and what things bothered you?

-I hated when the phone would ring and I couldn't answer it.
-I would panic when I was left in the room by myself

-my hair being washed
-My Mom told me she was going to leave if I didn't try harder and at the time it made me mad, but now I apperciate it because it made me work harder
-she bought me larger markers so I could write--my eyesight was messed up when I first woke up and my coordination was way off so the larger markers made it easier
-my Mom brushing my hair and putting it up in a ponytail along w/ the nurses so I wouldn't lose it while in the coma and when I woke up. One of the nurses gave me a hair piece and it made me feel special.
-another nurse bought me some pretty smelling lotion and small gestures liked that made the days and night easier
-the same nurse who gave me the hair piece also would use a flash light when she checked on me so she wouldn't wake me up in the middle of the night
29 January 2006 @ 06:47 pm
I had off work this weekend! It was cold and rainy but I needed the downtime. My energy level has been worst than usual and I was able to sleep in both days. Tomorrow I'll be up by 4am for work and not looking forward to that but I'll go to bed early tonight(I hope!)

It's so nice to have a place to call my own. It's hard to try to keep up w/ everything but getting out on my own was way overdue. My roommate is wonderful and I live closer to work so I don't have to walk so far. The two cats get along well now(at first mine didn't like hers) and it's funny to watch them play.

So that's my update. I figure whenever I write in here I talk just about ARDS stuff and I started this community so people could talk about their day to day life as well..

Hope all of you are doing well.
Current Mood: blankblank
19 January 2006 @ 09:29 pm
At A Glance

January 19, 2006

Medical center receives two multi-million dollar grants

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has recently been awarded two multi-million dollar grants to carry out research on disease and disease prevention.

Pulmonary and critical care medicine researchers were given a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue research into the causes and treatments for the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).

The current grant will likely total more than $4 million over the next seven years, and Wake Forest Baptist is one of only 12 sites in the nation to receive the grant, after competing with over 40 applicants.

Since 2000, 77 ARDS patients have been enrolled and treated in studies at the university’s medical center. The studies, to be performed over the next seven years, are expected to enroll over 150 at Wake Forest Baptist.

Subsequently, Wake Forest University Health Sciences and Tengion Inc. announced that they have entered into a multi-year, multi-million dollar agreement in the field of regenerative medicine that will advance the development of organs and tissues to treat human diseases and disabilities.

Tengion will provide funding to Wake Forest for research to be conducted at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The main focus of the research will be on creating “neo-organs” and tissues.

taken from http://ogb.wfu.edu/?id=2952_0_9_0_M

Having a grant just for ARDS is something I haven't seen yet. I hope they are able to find out new methods to help out the patients.