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Questions to Ask Your Doctor about ARDS

Because most people who develop ARDS already are hospitalized, it falls upon their caregivers to advocate for them and consult with their medical team. If you have a loved one with ARDS, ask their doctors the following questions:

  • What is the difference between acute lung injury and ARDS?
  • What is the prognosis for survival and discharge from the hospital in ARDS? Just how sick is my family member with ARDS?
  • My family member requires significant sedation (and perhaps paralysis) to facilitate
  • ventilation...what are risks of this?
  • If my family member has an acute episode of ARDS and is able to be discharged from the hospital, how long until they reach maximum recovery?
  • What are chances my family member will be able to recover to their previous level of lifestyle activity?
  • What do the healthcare workers caring for my family member mean by FIO2 and PEEP?
  • If someone requires mechanical ventilation, how long does it take to be weaned?
  • What are the main risks/side effects of mechanical ventilation?
  • Should my family member be taking antibiotics and/or steroids?

    This content was developed in partnership with the CHEST Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians.

    Page Last Updated: March 13, 2018

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