A to Z: Respiratory Failureenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-khAZDictionary-enHD-AR1.jpgLearn what happens when the lungs cannot properly bring oxygen into or remove carbon dioxide from the blood.Respiratory failure, acute respiratory failure, chronic respiratory failure, lungs, respiratory system, heart, brain, alveoli, capillaries, gas exchange, hypoxia, hypercapnia, oxygen, carbon dioxide, ventilator, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, spinal cord injuries06/30/201403/21/201909/02/2019a1a5f945-821c-4ce8-9b7d-c064271a0b54https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/az-respiratory-failure.html/<p><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/dictionary/"><img class="right" title="Parents image" src="https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/buttons/P-atoZDictionary-enBT.jpg" alt="A to Z Dictionary 500 Go" name="5093-P_ATOZDICTIONARY2_ENBT.JPG" /></a></p> <p><strong>May also be called: Acute Respiratory Failure; Chronic Respiratory Failure</strong></p> <p>The <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/lungs.html/">lungs</a> help transfer oxygen into and remove carbon dioxide from <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/blood.html/">blood</a>. Muscles around the lungs, such as&nbsp;the diaphragm, help them pull air in and push air out of the body.</p> <p>A problem in one or both of these systems &mdash; the lungs or the muscles &mdash; can lead to respiratory (RES-pir-uh-tor-ee) failure. In this condition, the lungs do not&nbsp;pass enough oxygen into the blood or don't properly remove carbon dioxide from the blood.</p> <h3>More to Know</h3> <p>When we inhale, oxygen-rich air goes into air sacs in the lungs called alveoli. The walls of the alveoli contain tiny blood vessels called capillaries. When air reaches the alveoli, oxygen passes into the blood in the capillaries. While that's happening, carbon dioxide (a waste gas) moves in the opposite direction, going from the capillaries to the alveoli, and then leaving the body&nbsp;when we exhale.</p> <p>This process is called gas exchange. Respiratory failure is when something causes a problem with the lungs' gas exchange functions. In respiratory failure:</p> <ul> <li>oxygen levels in the blood can be too low</li> <li>carbon dioxide levels in the blood can be&nbsp;too high</li> </ul> <p>Either of these conditions can eventually lead to complications in the heart and brain and become life-threatening.</p> <p>Early symptoms of respiratory failure include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, and headache. As it progresses, signs can include&nbsp;blue skin, lips, or fingernails; confusion; sleepiness; seizures; and coma.</p> <p>Common causes of respiratory failure include respiratory diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), spinal cord injuries, and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/about-genetics.html/">genetic</a> disorders. Children have weaker chest walls and smaller lungs than adults, so viral infections, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/asthma-basics.html/">asthma</a>, and lung disorders resulting from premature birth also can lead to respiratory failure.</p> <p>Respiratory failure can be sudden (acute) or develop over time (chronic). Acute respiratory failure is usually treated in a hospital <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/picu.html/">intensive care unit</a>. Chronic respiratory failure is often treated at home with the use of supplemental oxygen.</p> <h3>Keep in Mind</h3> <p>The outcome for someone with respiratory failure depends on the underlying cause and the person's age and overall health. In general, healthy teens and young adults tend to do better than older people. Very young children and babies may go into respiratory failure more quickly and should be watched closely. Avoiding smoke and other airborne irritants can reduce the risk of chronic respiratory failure.</p> <p><em>All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.</em></p>
Asthma Asthma makes it hard to breathe. But with treatment, the condition can be managed so that kids can still do the things they love. Learn all about asthma. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/asthma-basics.html/93904ebb-464e-4afd-9e00-2509c3cef428
Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)Babies who are born prematurely or who experience respiratory problems shortly after birth are at risk for bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), sometimes called chronic lung disease.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/bpd.html/8a1b6269-a56f-4d11-8f03-0193baf4ccdf
Lungs and Respiratory SystemBy the time we're 70 years old, we will have taken at least 600 million breaths. All of this breathing couldn't happen without the respiratory system.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/lungs.html/6fe380c0-fe47-47a4-ba19-7e0944585a61
Respiratory Syncytial VirusRespiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children. Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of this contagious infection.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/rsv.html/c2c86da2-f08c-4d9a-b6c2-22d4d117778a
Secondhand SmokeBreathing in someone else's secondhand smoke is hazardous to our health. Find out what you can do about it.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/secondhand-smoke.html/d837c45a-388e-4350-bcbb-a15d62b6d177
When Your Baby’s Born PrematurePremature infants, known as preemies, come into the world earlier than full-term infants. They have many special needs that make their care different from other babies.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/preemies.html/bba322bb-f2ec-4128-a331-b6d97eb4d544
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-pathologykh:genre-dictionarykh:primaryClinicalDesignation-pulmonologyRhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/dictionary/r/012fd33e-cb6e-4d0a-b39f-aadb2f2aee68Pulmonology A to Zhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/dictionary/az-pulm/8b11d6c4-0956-412e-9db7-0bcd2e4150e1https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/buttons/P-atoZDictionary-enBT.jpg