Respiratory failure

Respiratory failure

Respiratory failure is a medical term for inadequate gas exchange by the respiratory system. Respiratory failure can be indicated by observing a drop in blood oxygenation (hypoxemia) and/or a rise in arterial carbon dioxide (hypercapnia), which can be written as (PaO2 < 60 mmHg, PaCO2 > 45 mmHg).Classification into type I or type II relates to the absence or presence of hypercapnia respectively. (Values in kPa being PO2 below 8kPA and PCO2 above 6.7 kPa


Type 1

Type 1 respiratory failure is defined as hypoxaemia without hypercapnia, indeed the CO2 level may be normal or low. It is typically caused by a ventilation/perfusion mismatch; the air flowing in and out of the lungs is not matched with the flow of blood to the lungs.Basic defect in type 1 respiratory failure is failure of oxygenation characterized by: PaO2-low(<60mmhg)PaCO2_normal/low(* Parenchymal disease(V/Q mismatch)
* Diseases of vasculature and shunts.right to left shunt, ARDS,pneumonia,Emphysema.

Type 2

Type 2 respiratory failure is caused by increased airway resistance. both oxygen and carbon di oxide is affected. Defined as the build up of carbon dioxide that has been generated by the body. The underlying causes include:
* Reduced breathing effort (in the fatigued patient)
* Increased resistance to breathing (such as in asthma)
* A decrease in the area of the lung available for gas exchange (such as in emphysema).basically there is defect in ventillation, characterised by: Pao2-decreased PaCO2-increased, PA-aO2-normal


*Pulmonary dysfunction
**Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
**Pulmonary contusioncite journal |author=Johnson SB |title=Tracheobronchial injury |journal= Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery |volume=20 |issue=1 |pages=52&ndash;57 |year= 2008 |pmid=18420127 |doi=10.1053/j.semtcvs.2007.09.001]
**Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a specific and life-threatening type of respiratory failure.
**Cystic Fibrosis
*Cardiac dysfunction
**Pulmonary edema
**Congestive heart failure
**Valve pathology
**Fatigue due to prolonged tachypnoea in metabolic acidosis
**Intoxication with drugs (e.g. morphine, benzodiazepines) that suppress respiration.


Emergency treatment follows the principles of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Treatment of the underlying cause is required. Endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation may be required. Respiratory stimulants such as doxapram may be used, and if the respiratory failure resulted from an overdose of sedative drugs such as opioids or benzodiazepines, then the appropriate antidote such as naloxone or flumazenil will be given.

ee also

*Ventilation/perfusion ratio
*Pulmonary shunt


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • respiratory failure — a condition resulting from respiratory insufficiency, in which there is persistent abnormally low arterial oxygen tension (PaO2) or abnormally high carbon dioxide tension (PaCO2). Called also ventilatory f …   Medical dictionary

  • acute respiratory failure — ARF a primary disorder of gaseous exchange (as distinct from failure of the mechanical process of breathing). The prototype of ARF is adult respiratory distress syndrome, but the term sometimes also refers to disruption of any other part of the… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • Respiratory disease — Classification and external resources Micrograph of an emphysematous lung; emphysema is a common respiratory disease, strongly associated with smoking. H E stain. ICD …   Wikipedia

  • Respiratory center — (RC) is located in the medulla oblongata which is the lowermost part of the brain stem. RC receives controlling signals of neural, chemical and hormonal natures and controls the rate and depth of respiratory movements of the diaphragm and other… …   Wikipedia

  • respiratory disease — ▪ human disease Introduction  any of the diseases and disorders that affect human respiration (respiration, human).  Diseases of the respiratory system may affect any of the structures and organs that have to do with breathing, including the… …   Universalium

  • Respiratory system — See also: Respiratory tract Respiratory A complete, schematic view of the human respiratory system with their parts and functions. Latin …   Wikipedia

  • failure — The state of insufficiency or nonperformance. backward heart f. a concept (formerly considered mutually exclusive with forward heart f.) that maintains that the phenomena of congestive heart f. result from passive engorgement of the veins caused… …   Medical dictionary

  • Respiratory distress syndrome — There are two forms of respiratory distress syndrome: * ARDS, which is acute (or adult ) respiratory distress syndrome * Infant respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), which is a complication of premature birth, also known as hyaline membrane… …   Wikipedia

  • respiratory — res|pi|ra|to|ry [ resp(ə)rə,tɔri ] adjective FORMAL relating to the process of breathing air in and out: the respiratory system The patient died of respiratory failure. the department of respiratory medicine …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • respiratory insufficiency — inability of the lungs to provide adequate oxygen intake or carbon dioxide expulsion as needed by the body and its cells; if not managed successfully, it can progress to respiratory failure (see under failure) …   Medical dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”