ICU Alert - RT345-60

ICU Alert

Worsening Respiratory Function Can Signal ARDS

by Ruth M. Kleinpell, RN, PhD, FCCM, FAAN and Crystal Dunlevy, EdD, RRT, RCP
(4.6 / 574 ratings )

This course is credentialed for:
Respiratory Therapy (1.00 Contact Hr)

Price: $12.00
CE-PRO Price: $6.00


Despite progress in managing acute care disease, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) continues to pose challenges for critical care clinicians. Respiratory failure that characterizes ARDS is a common cause of morbidity and mortality, with mortality rates of 40% to 50%. ARDS is associated with injury to the alveolar-capillary membrane of the lungs, which alters oxygenation status and results in a reduced concentration of oxygen in the blood. A variety of conditions that predispose the lungs to injury can cause ARDS, and both direct and indirect injuries can lead to it. Prompt recognition of the distinct signs and symptoms of acute lung injury, often a harbinger of ARDS, can set a targeted treatment plan in motion. Likewise, early recognition of the progressively worsening respiratory function seen in ARDS can alert the team that the patient will need special types of mechanical ventilation to preserve and improve oxygenation.


The goal of this acute respiratory distress syndrome continuing education program is to increase nurses’ and respiratory therapists’ understanding of ARDS, including the risk factors, pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, and treatment. After you study the information presented here, you will be able to:
  • Discuss the pathophysiology of ARDS
  • Identify treatment goals for ARDS
  • Discuss the role of the healthcare provider in identifying and managing patients with ARDS

Accreditation Information
This course is intended for multiple professions, including nurses and respiratory therapists.
Respiratory therapists: Take this version of the course to ensure you receive appropriate credit.
For the version accredited or approved for another profession, go to your specific profession at or If you have a CE Direct login ID and password (generally provided by your employer), please log in as you normally would at and search for this topic title.
This program has been approved for 1 contact hour of Continuing Respiratory Care Education (CRCE) credit by the American Association for Respiratory Care, 9425 N. MacArthur Blvd., Suite 100, Irving, TX 75063. AARC Sponsor ID: 9514012. This is a non-traditional course. The course has been approved from 1/10/2012 to 1/10/2014 and 2/15/2014 to 2/15/2016.
If you are a respiratory therapist, remember to give us your AARC member number when filling out your license number information.
OnCourse Learning is also approved by the Florida Board of Respiratory Care (provider #FBN 50-1489).

Course Originally Released on: 1/10/2012
Date of Most Recent Review: 7/17/2015
Course Termination/Update Date: 2/15/2016

Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. OnCourse Learning guarantees this educational activity is free from bias. There is no commercial or in-kind support provided for this online educational activity.

Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module. For successful completion of this course, learners must read the course, and complete a posttest and evaluation survey.

This CE activity does not include any unannounced information about off-label use of a product for a purpose other than that for which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The approval status for this educational activity, granted by the AARC, does not expressly or implicitly confer AARC endorsement of the activity’s content.

This course completion will be electronically reported to CE Broker as required per Florida Statute 456.025(7). Click here to view your CE Broker transcript and check the status of your CE requirements with a FREE 7-day CE Broker trial subscription. It may take up to 24 hours for the course to appear on your CE Broker transcript.

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Aida H - overland park, KS  ·  Jan 08, 2016
its very helpful course
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Ava C - Vestal, NY  ·  Jan 05, 2016
See all my glowing comments above! Please also note my confusion about Test question #11. I would love clarification about this, maybe I am just not understanding what is being asked. Thanks for any response you can provide me regarding this question which seems to be in error!
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Jim R - Troy, TN  ·  Dec 28, 2015
covers subject very well.
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Lisa R - Oxnard, CA  ·  Dec 25, 2015
Very informative, good information, organized well.
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Catherine D - Lawrence, KS  ·  Dec 20, 2015
very good class to take
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Price: $12.00
CE-PRO Price: $6.00