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teacher: Mrs. B - Grade 5 (2010-2011)

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Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome; the Risk Taker

Dr. MD


The risk taking, deadly, but non-contagious disease is here. You are sick in bed with a mere pneumonia. In the next two days of your sickness you find out that you have a new sickness call ARDS. The reason it is so risk taking is because the treatment can kill you. The good news is that it is a non-contagious disease. The bad news is that it is deadly and prevents you from doing the things you love.


My Job

My name is Dr. Jeremy Toubia and I am a cardiologist (car-de-o-lo-gist) and I specialize in the cardiovascular system. The cardiovascular system contains two systems together, first the circulatory system and then the respiratory system that work together to make the cardiovascular system. I work in a hospital and help patients with lung diseases which affect the respiratory (res-per-a-tory) system that cuts the body’s function and systems.

The Job of the system

The circulatory system’s job is to transport nutrients, wastes, and oxygen. Another job of the circulatory system is to keep the organism alive. The circulatory system contains three organism, the blood, the heart, and blood vessels. The blood which is the most important organ has three parts, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Red blood cells carry oxygen and carbon dioxide. They get oxygen from the lungs, then go to the heart, and then get carbon dioxide from the body. White blood cells fight of germs (invaders) and diseases that affect the body. Platelet’s job is to make blood clots cuts. Blood clots are when you have a cut in a blood vessel then the platelets come in and repair the vessel that nothing goes wrong. If one system in the whole body does not function right then the body won’t function. Now that is why each and every system is equally important.


The main symptom of ARDS is that you experience shortness of breath due to oxygen levels. Lots of people who have ARDS may also be susceptible to attract H1N1 (swine-flu) and kidney failure. You also may appear to have problems breathing and moving becomes difficult.

The Disease

This disease is called Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Acute means it happens suddenly at a certain time in life. Respiratory is the oxygen supply system in your body. A distress is when you have a great strain of difficulties which makes it harder to breathe. Syndrome is a big group of symptoms to make a disease. ARDS is infamous for its rapid onset. The syndrome, ARDS, was first described by Dr. Ashbaugh in 1967.

The Affect on the System

ARDS is a really affective disease that can be or will be an enemy to you. ARDS affects you by inflaming your lungs which makes it harder for you to breath. Inflammation will cause endothelial dysfunction. Endothelial Dysfunction is when the fluid formed in the is not being drained from the lungs.

The Cause of the Disease

Usually you get ARDS when you have an acute injury or illness which is most likely to be pneumonia. ARDS is most common at the age of 47 or older. Sometimes ARDS happen because there is an air-leak in the lungs. An air-leak is when the little holes in the lungs get pressure and end up trying to get bigger or maybe even burst.

How ARDS is Treated

ARDS is treated with Mechanical Ventilation. Mechanical Ventilation is one of the essential parts of the treating of ARDS and is the most traditional treatment. The most appropriate medicine is an antibiotic therapy and must be used as soon as microbiological culture results available. The overall goal in treatment is to uphold gas exchange and to minimize adverse affects which is to avoid getting any unknown or major problems within the lungs. I, as a cardiologist use PEEP (Positive End Expiratory Pressure) to keep maximum recruiting of Alveolar units which come from the alveoli. 


So what if this disease is not contagious. Still, sometimes you never know when you could get ARDS because it is like a stealth disease. The reason why it is so deadly is because it is very rare and could kill. So if you worry about the disease, I say expect the unexpected.

A note to the parents: This integrated science/language arts work was researched, written, typed and formatted by your child,  in cooperation with the computer teacher (typing, formatting, internet research and bibliography), the librarians (research skills, paraphrasing, bibliography) and the homeroom teacher (research skills, paraphrasing, expository writing). We are proud of this work. We hope you are too.



































Article posted May 17, 2011 at 06:01 AM • comment • Reads 1311 • Return to Blog List
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