Donate to Respiratory Failure Research, Patient Care and Education

Respiratory Failure occurs when the lungs are unable to take in oxygen and/or they are unable to remove carbon dioxide produced by the body. There are two different types of respiratory failure conditions, hypoxemia and hypercapnia. Hypoxemia occurs when there is an absence of oxygen in the bloodstream and hypercapnia happens when there is a surplus of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. Both hypoxemia and hypercapnia can cause serious complications. A donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will help treat individuals with respiratory failure at Northwestern Medicine.

The symptoms of hypoxemia or hypercapnia are distinct. It is possible to be both hypoxemic and hypercapnic. For those suffering from hypoxemia, the symptoms include shortness of breath, cyanosis, increased heart rate, wheezing or coughing, severe headache, or pulmonary hypertension. Individuals with hypercapnia have symptoms that include hyperventilation, disorientation or confusion, skin that looks flushed, twitching of muscles, headaches, elevated blood pressure, and drowsiness or lethargy. Other symptoms include irregular heartbeat, seizure, panic attacks or fainting.

There are many different reasons why respiratory failure might occur. Often a preexisting condition can give way to respiratory failure; some of these conditions are COPD, asthma, muscular dystrophy, ALS, pneumonia, tumors, inhaled chemicals, brain or spinal cord injuries and obesity hypoventilation. Factors that could increase the risk of having respiratory failure include alcohol or drug abuse, smoking, a family history of respiratory disease or a weakened immune system. By giving to Northwestern Memorial Foundation you are giving a more efficient recovery to those with respiratory failure. Your donation helps us mold a future with improved treatments and care for those who suffer from respiratory failure.

To diagnose respiratory failure physicians may conduct diagnostic tests including spirometry, arterial blood gas, peak flow meter, chest x-ray and pulse oximetry. Once respiratory failure has been diagnosed, physicians design a treatment plan. Treatment is determined based on the underlying causes of the condition, with the best step to prevention being to stop smoking immediately. Other treatments include medications that will minimize airway obstructions, ventilation (noninvasive and mechanical) and supplemental oxygen.

Respiratory Failure Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Pulmonary specialists at Northwestern Medicine are at the forefront of revolutionary research that will help to better diagnose and treat respiratory failure. The generous donations of Northwestern Memorial Foundation patrons help tremendously to accelerate progress in medical research. Every donation you make to Northwestern Memorial Foundation goes to fund projects led by those who continually make discoveries in respiratory failure prevention. Donate today and help ensure a better quality of life and a brighter future for those with respiratory failure.

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