Understanding Respiratory Failure

Understanding Respiratory Failure and its Causes

Some of us may take for granted all the moments we breathed in deeply and exhaled a calm, clear breath of fresh air. 

Every breath is truly a gift, especially when someone is experiencing difficulty breathing. Feeling panicked and fearful is normal when facing a situation where your loved one is struggling to receive oxygen due to respiratory failure.

Understanding Acute Respiratory Failure

Acute respiratory failure is an emergency medical condition requiring immediate oversight by a trusted medical team. However, understanding the signs and causes are important when caring for your loved one and ensuring the best possible outcome.

What Happens to You When You’re Experiencing Respiratory Failure

As mentioned earlier, respiratory failure occurs when your body is unable to receive oxygen. When the lungs are struggling to take in oxygen, a severe lack of this element exists in the blood. Oxygen must pass through our lungs and into the body’s blood vessels for all organs to function properly.

What Causes Respiratory Failure?

The sudden onset of acute respiratory failure is often a result of underlying health concerns already inhibiting a person’s ability to breathe. 

Unfortunately, with acute respiratory failure, there is little to no warning prior to its occurrence. Oftentimes, people experiencing a stroke, pneumonia, lung, or spinal cord damage are more susceptible to this type of medical emergency.

Understanding Chronic Respiratory Failure

Acute respiratory failure does not always happen at once. Instead, people may experience a slowly developing respiratory condition known as chronic respiratory failure. In this case, there are some telltale signs and symptoms to watch for. 

Chronic symptoms will include regular shortness of breath, where a person never seems to be able to breathe in deeply. Breaths only expand a partial amount of the lung capacity, but never the full amount. 

Another symptom includes extreme fatigue and overall lethargy throughout the day.

Who Should Seek Pulmonary Rehabilitation Therapy?

If you or a loved one are struggling with getting enough oxygen, you may also feel dizzy and exhausted. 

A pulmonary rehabilitation therapist is trained to address breathing issues through supervised medical management. Therapists are trained to examine a person’s lungs, muscles, nerves, and bones supporting the body’s ability to receive and distribute oxygen properly. 

Anyone suffering from the following medical conditions may benefit from regular pulmonary rehabilitation therapy:

The goal of pulmonary therapy is to identify each underlying trigger contributing to a person’s limited capacity and ability to breathe. Respiratory illnesses may not advance to more severe levels when the proper oversight and care plan is implemented. 

Regular pulmonary therapy is meant to:

  • Help your lungs take oxygen in more deeply; reduce shortness of breath
  • Reduce or eliminate the need for artificial respiration, such as a ventilator or oxygen tank
  • Improve energy levels
  • Strengthen the lungs and overall oxygenation of organs and tissues

Respiratory issues should be treated immediately to strengthen and recover lung health. Breathing problems are a delicate medical issue and the sooner these problems are identified and treated, the greater a person’s chance for recovery and improved quality of life.

South Coast Post Acute is Southern California’s Premier post-acute Partner

Better health and healing are possible with the right professional oversight and daily nutrition. At South Coast Post Acute, we deliver the services needed to restore health, regain autonomy and reduce the occurrences of rehospitalization. 

South Coast Post Acute is here for you, at any age. Our innovative care, experienced staff, and welcoming accommodations combine to bring you the high level of care you’ve come to expect from Southern California’s leading post-acute provider. 

Contact us today for more information on how we can help on your journey back to restored health.

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