Acute respiratory distress syndrome: Respiratory failure of sudden onset due to fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), following an abrupt increase in the permeability of the normal barrier between the capillaries in the lungs and the air sacs. The muscles used in breathing are forced to work harder, causing labored and inefficient breathing. An abnormally low level of oxygen in the blood (hypoxemia) occurs. The types of acute lung injury that may lead to ARDS include, but are not limited to, aspiration of food or other items into the lungs, inhalation of a toxic substance, widespread infection of the lungs, blood infection (sepsis), and near-drowning. Treatment frequently involves temporary use of a mechanical ventilator to help the patient breathe.
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
Acute respiratory distress syndrome: Better known as ARDS. See: ARDS.
- Acute stress disorder
Acute stress disorder: The anxiety and behavioral disturbances that develop within a month of exposure to extreme trauma. The symptoms of an acute stress disorder usually begin during or shortly following the trauma. Such extreme traumatic events include rape or other severe physical assault, near-death experiences in accidents, witnessing a murder, and combat. The symptom […]
- Acute thrombocytopenic purpura
Acute thrombocytopenic purpura: Sudden onset of low blood platelet levels, with bleeding into the skin and elsewhere. Abbreviated ATP. ATP can have many causes; for example, it can be a potentially serious complication during the acute phase of measles infection.
- Acute tubular necrosis
Acute tubular necrosis: A severe form of acute renal failure that develops in people with severe illnesses (such as sepsis) or with very low blood pressure. Patients may need dialysis. Kidney function often improves if the underlying disease is successfully treated. Abbreviated ATN. Many times the term is used synonymously with the term acute renal […]
- Acute-phase protein
Acute-phase protein: A protein whose plasma concentrations increase during certain inflammatory disorders. Perhaps the best-known acute-phase protein is C-reactive protein (CRP).