ARD: Acronym that stands for a disorder known as Adult Respiratory Distress or Acute Respiratory Distress. Also referred to as ARDS (ARD Syndrome).
In ARD there is respiratory failure of sudden (acute) onset due to the rapid accumulation of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) following an abrupt increase in the permeability of the normal barrier between the capillaries and the air sacs in the lungs. ARD is the most serious response to acute lung injury.
The types of acute lung injury that may lead to ARD are very diverse. They include (but are by no means limited to) aspiration (getting thing down the wrong way), inhalation of a toxic substance, widespread (diffuse) infection of the lungs, sepsis (blood infection) and near drowning.
ARD forces the muscles of the lungs to work harder causing labored breathing (huffing and puffing). Despite the effort, breathing is inefficient. There is hypoxemia (an abnormally low level of oxygen in the blood), a characteristic feature of ARD.
The treatment of ARD frequently involves the transient use of a mechanical ventilator to help breathing.
Vaccines were developed for adenovirus serotypes 4 and 7, but were available only for preventing ARD among military recruits. Beginning in 1971, all (American) military recruits were vaccinated against adenovirus, but the sole manufacturer of the vaccine halted production in 1996. And as supplies dwindled, adenoviral infection reemerged in the US military.
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