What Causes Respiratory Failure?

Discussion The respiratory system is a complex system. The upper airways must remain patient. The lower airways must interface with the vascular system. The musculoskeletal system must provide mechanical function and the central nervous system must provide overall control. Respiratory failure occurs when the overall system cannot support the body’s necessarily ventilation, oxygenation or both. Children are at higher risk of respiratory failure. They have few intrinsic lung parenchyma problems, but have very small airways that increase the airflow resistance by themselves but then have to contend with problems such as airway edema, secretions, or bronchoconstriction which dramatically increase resistance. Remember that airflow resistance is inversely proportional to the size of the airway to the 4th power. Therefore small changes in airway size create large resistance forces. The chest wall is also more compliant which makes exerting necessary pressures for ventilation more difficult. The diaphragm also has fewer muscle fibers to exert the necessary pressure when contracting and the central nervous system is also more immature resulting in more bradypnea or apnea. The signs and symptoms of respiratory failure include tachypnea, retractions, head bobbing, grunting, nasal flaring, tracheal tugging, belly breathing, and altered mental status (agitation is common for hypoxic patients, and somnolence with hypercarbia but either can occur). Other physical examination signs in...
Source: PediatricEducation.org - Category: Pediatrics Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news