What are the signs and symptoms of acute respiratory failure?

Updated: Apr 07, 2020
  • Author: Ata Murat Kaynar, MD; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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The signs and symptoms of acute respiratory failure reflect the underlying disease process and the associated hypoxemia or hypercapnia. Localized pulmonary findings reflecting the acute cause of hypoxemia (eg, pneumonia, pulmonary edema, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD]), may be readily apparent. In patients with ARDS, the manifestations may be remote from the thorax, such as abdominal pain or long-bone fracture. Neurologic manifestations include restlessness, anxiety, confusion, seizures, or coma.

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