Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Wootton, J jwootton at home.com
Wed Mar 15 19:43:38 EST 2000

sorry for your loss,
You might want to try alt.support.asthma or alt.support.pulmonary.
Some info/links below


Researchers Propose New Treatment For Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome

LONDON, ENGLAND -- April 9, 1999 -- In a study in this week's issue of The Lancet, researchers have found that in the patients with adult respiratory
distress syndrome (ARDS) an essential protein found in lung surfactant -- called specific-protein A -- is damaged. This discovery could lead to the
development of new treatments for this syndrome.

ARDS occurs when inflammation damages the lung and can be caused by direct injury to the lung, such as that caused by smoke inhalation, or by inflammation
triggered by damage, such as trauma, occurring elsewhere in the body. This inflammation initiates a reaction called surfactant failure. Surfactant is a
mixture of chemicals, produced by cells in the lung, which reduces the surface tension of the fluid lining the air sacs, making it possible for the air sacs
to remain open between breaths.

In surfactant failure, the air sacs collapse, so the lung cannot function properly in providing oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. This leads to ARDS
and, unless the condition is reversed, the patient will suffocate. Currently, about 40 percent of patients who develop ARDS die as a result of the disorder.

Although artificial surfactants are known to improve lung function in infants with respiratory distress syndrome, a syndrome which occurs in premature
infants born before their lungs can produce enough of their own surfactant, in ARDS patients, the effect of artificial surfactants is short-lived.

Dr. Cathy Baker and co-workers from Britain's National Heart and Lung Institute studied surfactant taken from the lungs of 18 patients with adult respiratory
distress syndrome (ARDS) and compared it with surfactant taken from six healthy volunteers. Their findings indicate that protein-cutting enzymes, called
proteases, produced by white cells activated by the inflammation are snipping specific-protein A into fragments. This could explain why artificial surfactant
treatments fail in ARDS patients and has given scientists a greater understanding of this disorder.

The researchers conclude that giving drugs to protect specific-protein A in the lungs from damage from proteases may help patients and added that a
combination of surfactant and antiprotease therapy may improve therapeutic prospects.

Related Link: The Lancet

also http://amsa.army.mil/MSMR/1997/v03_n05_Article3.htm

High risk situations for the development of ARDS:
(1) Cardiopulmonary bypass
(2) Major burns
(3) Bacteremia
(4) Hypertransfusion
(5) Leg bone or pelvic fracture
(6) Severe pneumonia
(7) Disseminated intravascular coagulation
(8) Pulmonary aspiration

aparker wrote:

> I don't know if this is the right group but I really need
> to find out more information about the above topic. My son
> recently passed away at age 24 from this and I need to try
> to understand how this happens to such a healthy young man
> in the prime of his life. Perhaps you would be able to
> direct me to a support group that handles these situations.
> I am in Dallas Texas and really need some help!
> * Sent from AltaVista http://www.altavista.com Where you can also find related Web Pages, Images, Audios, Videos, News, and Shopping.  Smart is Beautiful


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