Respiratory distress can quite literally take your breath away. It is a condition that can occur regardless of if you have a history of lung disease. More recently it has gained a lot of attention as it is one of the most severe outcomes of COVID-19.
Essentially, respiratory distress is caused by fluid leaking from the lungs’ small blood vessels into the tiny air sacs responsible for oxygenating our blood. Viruses, injuries, or inhalants can all cause these blood vessels to break, which will result in respiratory distress.
In addition to COVID-19, other ailments that cause respiratory distress include sepsis (the most common cause), pneumonia, inhalation of pollutants, head or chest injuries, or burns.
People who are experiencing respiratory distress can go to their nearest urgent care. However, depending on the severity of their symptoms, they may need hospitalization.
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