Friday, September 15, 2017

What Is Chronic Respiratory Failure?

What Is Chronic Respiratory Failure? 

You breathe approximately 20,000 times every day. This breathing wouldn’t be possible without the respiratory system, which is a collection of organs responsible for taking in oxygen and getting rid of carbon dioxide. When you inhale, you breathe in oxygen-rich air. The oxygen moves through your bloodstream and into the organs and tissues of your body. This oxygen is vital for maintaining essential body functions. When you exhale, you release carbon dioxide from your body. Carbon dioxide is a waste product that’s produced when the cells in your body break down sugar from the foods you eat. It’s important for carbon dioxide to be removed from your blood, as high levels of the gas can cause organ damage.

Respiratory failure can happen when your respiratory system is unable to remove carbon dioxide from the blood, causing it to build up in the body. The condition can also develop when your respiratory system can’t take in enough oxygen, leading to dangerously low levels of oxygen in the blood. Respiratory failure may be acute or chronic. Acute respiratory failure is a short-term condition. It occurs suddenly and is typically treated as a medical emergency. Chronic respiratory failure, however, is an ongoing condition. It gradually develops over time and requires long-term treatment.

Chronic respiratory failure usually happens when the tubes that carry air to your lungs become narrow and damaged. This limits air movement through the body, which means that less oxygen gets in and less carbon dioxide gets out.

Chronic respiratory failure can also be classified as hypoxemic or hypercapnic respiratory failure. Low blood oxygen levels cause hypoxemic respiratory failure. High carbon dioxide levels cause hypercapnic respiratory failure.

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