Acute respiratory failure
Acute respiratory failure occurs when the lungs can’t release enough oxygen into the blood. This condition can also occur when the lungs can’t remove carbon dioxide from the blood. Potential causes of acute respiratory failure are the diseases and conditions that impair breathing. As a result of this condition, organs like the heart, brain, and the rest of the body don’t get enough oxygen-rich blood for their functioning.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a serious lung condition that occurs when fluid builds up in the air sacs of the lungs. This fluid build-up can lower the amount of oxygen or increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream and eventually cause organ failure. This syndrome is usually triggered by other health problems like sepsis or severe pneumonia, head or chest injury, and inhalation of harmful substances.
Cardiogenic shock occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping enough blood to meet the body’s needs. The common causes of this condition are serious heart conditions, most often a heart attack. Severe shortness of breath, sudden and rapid heartbeat, confusion and anxiety, fatigue, loss of consciousness, weak pulse, sweating and cold extremities are some of the signs and symptoms of cardiogenic shock.
Cerebral oedema or brain swelling occurs when fluid builds up in the brain causing an increase of pressure inside the skull. The swelling of the brain can happen as a result of head trauma, infections, tumors, stroke, brain haemorrhage, high altitudes or due to any neurological conditions. Some symptoms of cerebral oedema are headache, dizziness, difficulty speaking, nausea, seizures, numbness, and memory problems.
Congenital metabolic disorder
Congenital metabolic disorders are a group of genetic conditions that interfere with the body's metabolism. Most people with congenital metabolic disorders have defective genes that are inherited from their parents. These defective genes bring an enzyme deficiency in the body. There are a number of congenital metabolic disorders and their symptoms and treatments vary widely.
When the human body receives too much of a substance or mix of substances through drugs, it can result in drug overuse. It can happen by the intake of alcohol, illicit drugs, over the counter medications and many other substances. When a patient is wheeled into the critical care unit because of drug overdose, appropriate and prompt treatment will be determined by the specialists based on the type of drug and severity of the doses.
Heart failure is a serious medical condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump adequate blood to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen. Most often, it is caused by another condition or illness like coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiomyopathy, high blood pressure, etc. Heart failure can be acute or chronic and can affect the left or right side of the heart, or both sides at the same time. Its signs and symptoms may include shortness of breath, excessive fatigue, persistent coughing, irregular pulse, heart palpitations, leg and ankle swelling, etc.
Intracranial haemorrhage refers to bleeding inside the skull. Most Intracranial haemorrhages occur as a result of a head injury. Other reasons can be hypertension, heavy alcohol use, a family history of intracranial haemorrhage, cigarette smoking, and extreme physical exertion. Patients with Intracranial haemorrhages experience sudden and severe headache, paralysis, weakness, numbness, loss of balance or coordination, difficulty understanding and speaking, seizure, and coma.
A Metabolic disorder occurs when abnormal chemical reactions in the body disrupt the normal metabolism, the process of converting food to energy. The development of a metabolic disorder can be attributed to various factors like improper functioning of certain organs, defective genes, too much consumption of certain foods, and hormone or enzyme deficiency. There are many types of metabolic disorders and their symptoms and treatment depend on the type of disorder and how serious it is.
Multiple organ failure
As the name implies, it refers to the failure of more than one organ. The cause for the failure of multiple organs may or may not be related to injury or disease. The most common cause of multiple organ failure is Sepsis, an illness that develops when the chemicals released by the immune system to fight against infection trigger widespread inflammation in the body.
An infection in one or both of the lungs is Pneumonia. This infection inflames the air sacs in the lungs and fills it with fluid or pus, making breathing difficult. Bacteria, viruses, and fungi or inhalation of harmful liquid or chemicals can cause Pneumonia. The symptoms associated with it are cough that may produce phlegm (mucus), fever, sweating or chills, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain that’s worse when breathing or coughing, etc.
Pulmonary embolism occurs when one of the arteries in the lungs gets blocked by a blood clot that forms elsewhere in the body and reaches the lung through the bloodstream. The blood clots can form in the deep veins of the body and the reason for the formation can be an injury or damage, inactivity or medical conditions. Fat from the marrow of a broken long bone, part of a tumor, air bubbles can also cause the blockages. Symptoms of Pulmonary embolism are shortness of breath, chest pain and cough.
A life-threatening condition caused by the body's response to an infection is Sepsis. Any type of bacterial, viral or fungal infection can cause sepsis, while the most common being Pneumonia and bloodstream infection. When this condition worsens it can lead to septic shock, a condition where blood pressure drops significantly. Without timely treatment, sepsis quickly ends up in tissue damage, multiple organ failure, and death.
Septic shock is a potentially fatal condition that occurs when the blood pressure drops significantly due to a widespread body infection (Sepsis). As a result of septic shock, the vital organs of the body such as the brain, kidneys, lungs, and heart receive insufficient blood flow and oxygen. This can lead to multiple organ failure, respiratory or heart failure, stroke and death. Septic shock can occur in both young and old people and most often in people with weakened immune systems.
Shock is a life-threatening condition that occurs as a result of insufficient blood flow to the tissues of the body. It can lead to multiple organ failure, permanent organ damage and life-threatening complications as well. Based on what causes the insufficient blood flow, shock can be four types: obstructive shock, cardiogenic shock, distributive shock and hypovolemic shock.
A stroke occurs when the supply of blood to the brain is interrupted or decreased. Most strokes are the result of abrupt blockage of arteries leading to the brain. Other strokes occur when a blood vessel in the brain bursts and bleeds. Symptoms of a stroke depend on part of the brain injured, and the severity of the injury. Most often, the symptoms are paralysis, trouble speaking or understanding speech, vision problems, dizziness, trouble walking, and headache.
- Airway management
- Cardiovascular monitoring
- Central venous catheterization
- Chest drainage tube insertion
- Continuous renal replacement therapy
- ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation)
- Haemodialysis catheter insertion
- Hemodynamic monitoring
- Intra-aortic balloon pump therapy
- Mechanical ventilation
- Peritoneal drain insertion
- Plasma exchange
- Postoperative care
- Pulmonary artery catheter insertion
- Diagnostics and therapeutic procedures: bronchoscopy, colonoscopy, fluoroscopy, transcranial doppler, transoesophageal echocardiography, transthoracic echocardiography, upper endoscopy
- Transplants: bone marrow, heart, kidney, liver, lung, pancreas)