What is Acute Lung Injury: Overview

Vaibhav Saxena

, Health A2Z

The lung injury can be highly troublesome and chronic as the lungs are the involuntary organs that are constantly working and functioning 24 hours of a day. Th Acute lung injury can be a chronic condition as it hinders the unceasing process of breathing and we all are well aware how much breathing helps in stimulation. This condition can be fatal as well, so let’s learn further for better analysis and tackling.


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What is Acute Lung Injury?


Acute lung injury, also termed as ALI is an aggregate of the characteristic forms of parenchymal lung diseases. ALI depicts a wide range of severity from short-lived dyspnoea to a rapidly terminal failure of the respiratory system, this phenomenon leads to Acute respiratory distress syndrome.


Basically, In the case of ALI, injury to cells of the air sacs of the lungs, surfactant dysfunction, activation of the innate immune system response, and dysfunction of the body’s regulation of clotting and bleeding is caused. The condition at the initial stage doesn’t seem to be much of a problem as the person neglects it as a natural occurrence. Whereas, after a due time Acute Lung Injury take a chronic shift and becomes severe.




What are the Symptoms of Acute Lung Injury?


The ALI in a human being depicts chronic syndrome-like symptoms of acute respiratory failure with substantial morbidity and mortality. The symptoms begin within a few days of the incidental event of injury whereas they keep on increasing in due time. The core symptoms are enlisted below.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fast breathing
  • Low oxygen level in the blood
  • Fatigue
  • Chest Pain




What is the Cause of Acute Lung Injury?


The cause of ALI is a disorder of acute inflammation that causes disruption of the lung endothelial and epithelial barriers. The alveolar-capillary membrane is comprised of the microvascular endothelium, interstitium, and alveolar epithelium. Generally, the major cause is considered to be inflammation that leads to injury due to heavy breathing and ultimately further troublesome pain and difficulties in breathing.




How to Diagnose Acute Lung Injury?


The Diagnosis for ALI begins with physical examining of the patient and consulting all the possible symptoms that have been encountered by him or her. The later procedure begins with imaging tests to extract a better picture of the lungs and provide a better analysis and treatment.


1. Chest X-ray: This helps in providing a clear image of damage that has been caused in the lungs and helps the doctor to detect the causes more concisely and easily.


2. Ultrasound: The ultrasound is used to deeply analysis a body part, especially organs. Ultrasound shows the actual portion where the damage has been reached and can possibly reach.


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What is the Treatment of Acute Lung Injury?


The ALI can trouble in breathing process of a human body, hence the ventilation strategies are the major cure for it. However, The treatment of acute lung injury revolves around both ventilatory and nonventilatory strategies.

1. Mechanical ventilation: This process is used to meet the body’s metabolic demands and to minimize adverse effects in its application. Earlier, this procedure was used to fulfill the tidal volumes of lungs.


2. Airway pressure release ventilation: Airway pressure release ventilation, also called APRV, has been ideal for many patients that are struggling with acute lung injury as it supports in decreasing airway pressures and minute ventilation, decreasing dead-space ventilation, promotion of spontaneous breathing and almost 24-hours-a-day alveolar recruitment as well.


3. Positive end-expiratory pressure: The positive end-expiratory pressure is provided to patients for improving oxygenation and helping alveoli to be distinguished.


4. Nitric oxide: Inhaling Nitric oxide can potentially help in expanding the arteries of the lungs which allows for more blood flow to open alveoli for gas exchange.


5. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: There are generally two types of ECMO that are Venovenous which provides respiratory support and venoarterial which provides respiratory and hemodynamic support.





The bottom line is that lung injury and problems can cause extreme trouble and problems for a person to bear and cope up. Whereas Acute Lung Injury is one of the major lung problems that is leading worldwide, so it is better to try keeping our lungs healthy and strengthened by staying away from smoke and pollution.


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