People over 65 years of age are increasingly admitted in emergency departments due to acute respiratory failure (ARF). Acute respiratory failure occurs when there is too low of oxygen and too much of carbon dioxide levels in your lungs. It is actually one of the key symptoms of congestive heart failure. In such a way, the lungs cannot remove carbon dioxide from your blood and therefore, disrupt the normal flow of your physiological processes.
Specifically, the failure happens when the capillaries in your air sacs cannot properly exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen. This condition can be acute (severe) or chronic (long-term). Bright Home Health Care, a trusted provider of in-home care Carrolton Texas, sees that you should get your elders some help to treat the symptoms from not having enough oxygen.
You should know that people who are at risk for acute respiratory failure are those who smoke tobacco products, drink alcohol extremely, who have chronic respiratory problems—lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or asthma; if you have sustained an injury to the brain, spine, or chest, or have a family history of respiratory disease or conditions.
When your levels of carbon dioxide are high, your heart may increase, you might get confused about your surroundings, who you are, and who other around you are. Take note of more symptoms of acute respiratory failure:
- Altered consciousness
- Inability to breathe
- Racing heart
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Bluish coloration in the fingertips, skin, or lips
- Profuse sweating
A specific type of respiratory failure that more and more elders experience is the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). It is a medical emergency because it can be caused by any disease or condition that injures the lungs.
What You Can Do
To help you breathe better, your doctor may prescribe pain medications and other medicines. You can also get your elderly loved ones to have blood tests to detect the low levels of oxygen and high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. Tracheostomy, an operation that provides an artificial airway in the windpipe, may be necessary for severe cases. You may also receive oxygen thru an oxygen tank, ventilator or portable air tanks for you to go home with you especially if your condition requires one.
People with ARDS are treated in an ICU and its success usually depends on how the underlying disorders are treated. The most important part of the treatment should be the oxygen therapy because it corrects the low oxygen levels.
A mechanical ventilator must be used if the oxygen delivered by nasal prongs or a face mask does not correct the low blood oxygen levels. It can deliver the oxygen-rich air under pressure into the windpipe and it helps keep the alveoli open at the end of exhalation.
Prevent severe respiratory failure among your elders by giving them proper care right at the comfort of their homes! Call Bright Home Health Care today for a reliable quality of in-home care Carrolton Texas!