Respiratory Failure

Friday, June 26, 2015

Respiratory failure is the inability of the lungs to perform their basic task of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange. Dr. Edward Hill discusses respiratory failure in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Respiratory failure happens when not enough oxygen passes from your lungs into your blood.

Your bodys organs, such as your heart and brain, need oxygen-rich blood to work well. Respiratory failure also can happen if your lungs cant remove carbon dioxide from your blood. Too much carbon dioxide in your blood can harm your bodys organs.

Diseases and conditions that affect your breathing can cause respiratory failure. Examples include:

Lung diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism and cystic fibrosis

Conditions that affect the nerves and muscles that control breathing, such as spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy and stroke

Damage to the tissues and ribs around the lungs. An injury to the chest can cause this damage.

Drug or alcohol overdose, and

Injuries from inhaling smoke or harmful fumes

Treatment for respiratory failure depends on whether the condition is acute or chronic and how severe it is. It also depends on the underlying cause. You may receive oxygen therapy and other treatment to help you breathe.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.