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Side Effect: ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome)

What is ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome)?

What does ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) look like?

Common symptoms of ARDS include:

Chest X-rays or CT scans may show evidence of fluid accumulation in the lungs and a pulse oximeter or arterial blood tests may reveal low levels of oxygen in the blood.

Who gets ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome)?

ARDS can occur as a result of various conditions such as viral or bacterial infections, trauma, inhalation injury, among others.

Patients with cancer can be at an increased risk of developing ARDS due to the immune dysfunction and the potential for lung injury caused by the cancer or its treatment.

How to prevent ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome)

The prevention of ARDS involves addressing underlying risk factors and optimizing respiratory support in patients who are critically ill. Strategies to prevent ARDS in cancer patients may involve minimizing exposure to environmental toxins, monitoring for signs of infection, and providing appropriate supportive care.

How to treat ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome)

Treatment of ARDS largely involves supportive care to limit extent of lung injury.

Patients with ARDS may require mechanical ventilation (using a breathing tube and machine to assist with breathing) and medications such as corticosteroids to manage inflammation in the lungs. Patients with cancer may require additional considerations due to their compromised immune systems and potential effects of their cancer treatments.


1. Qadir N, Sahetya S, Munshi L, et al. An Update on Management of Adult Patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: An Official American Thoracic Society Clinical Practice Guideline. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2024;209(1):24-36.

Created: May 19, 2024 Updated: May 19, 2024