Acute lung disease

Posted: May 13, 2016






Acute lung disease is a life-threatening condition where the lung is injured to an extent that it cannot function properly in moving air in and out of the blood. Doctors first realized it in 1967 when they found twelve individuals who had sudden problems in breathing in addition to sudden lung failure (Mouratis, Marios-Angelos, et al. 34). All of these individuals had the same patchy spots found on their chests when x-rays were done.

Symptoms of acute lung disease

Patients with this illness tend to have a shortness of breath that is often severe. They find it difficult to breathe, have constant coughs and fever. These patients may also have a rapid heart and breathing rates while occasionally feeling pain in the chest whenever they inhale. Some of these patients especially the ones who have a low oxygen level could also have a blue coloring on their nails and lips since oxygen severely decreases in their blood.

Causes of acute lung disease

The acute lung disease has various causes that can either be direct injuries or indirect injuries to the lungs. Direct injuries to the lungs can include aspiration, pneumonia, and inhalation of smoke from a fire and bruising of the lung from a certain trauma such as from a car accident. On the other hand, indirect injuries to the lungs could include issues such as pancreas inflammation, severe infection, and transfusions of blood, medication reactions and burns. However, most patients with these indirect injuries to the lungs may not develop the acute lung disease though a smaller percentage of them do (Zhang, Zhongheng and Lin Chen 4).

Risk factors for acute lung disease

Some of these factors include an individual’s history in smoking cigarettes, individual’s use of oxygen for an already existing lung condition and recent surgery that could be classified as high risk. Other factors include obesity, low level of protein in the blood, abuse of alcohol or an individual who has undergone a recent chemotherapy. Despite this, the conditions that are highly linked with acute lung disease are sepsis, lung infections including pneumonia and overall traumatic injury (Bitargil, et al. 7). However, it is crucial to understand that any individual with the identified risk factors could develop the disease though sometimes doctors do not know why it is possible for some people to develop the disease while others do not. Acute lung disease is an emergency, and thus, it is recommended that anyone exhibiting its symptoms sees a doctor immediately.

Diagnosis of acute lung disease

Doctors only do a physical exam and listen to the heart and the lungs of the patient with a stethoscope. If an individual has the disease, doctors will notice an abnormal breathing sound including wheezing or crackles. Doctors may conduct an x-ray to look for fluid in the lung’s airspaces, a blood test to check for any sign of an infection, or a lung CT scan to find out if the lungs have any fluid that could be a sign of pneumonia. Moreover, doctors could also conduct a heart test to ensure that they rule out heart failure since it could lead to building up of fluids in the lungs.


Acute lung diseases are a life-threatening condition that requires individuals to seek immediate doctor’s appointment if they happen to spot its symptoms. Some symptoms could include rapid heart rate, faster breathing or fever. Some of the factors that might cause it could include a history of cigarette smoking, recent chemotherapy and obesity among others. Individuals should seek doctor’s intervention whenever they find the symptoms of this illness since it could cost them their life.

Works Cited

  1. Bitargil, M., et al. "Transfusion-Related Acute Lung Injury Following Coronary Artery Bypass        Graft Surgery."Perfusion 30.8 (2015): 626-628. Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 Dec.             2015.
  2. Mouratis, Marios-Angelos, et al. "AutotaxinAnd Endotoxin-Induced Acute Lung Injury." Plos      ONE 10.7 (2015): 1-16.Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 Dec. 2015.
  3. Zhang, Zhongheng, Kun Chen, and Lin Chen. "APACHE III Outcome Prediction In Patients              Admitted To The Intensive Care Unit With Sepsis Associated Acute Lung Injury." Plos            ONE 10.10 (2015): 1-9. Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 Dec. 2015.
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