Which physical findings are characteristic of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)?

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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Answer

Physical findings often are nonspecific and include tachypnea, tachycardia, and the need for a high fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) to maintain oxygen saturation. The patient may be febrile or hypothermic. Because ARDS often occurs in the context of sepsis, associated hypotension and peripheral vasoconstriction with cold extremities may be present. Cyanosis of the lips and nail beds may occur.


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