Which of the following conditions has the most likely developed? A firefighter who was involved in extinguishing a house fire is being treated for smoke inhalation. He develops severe hypoxia 48 hours after the incident, requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation.
A. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
Hypoxia is when a person’s body part has not had oxygen to that body part for a certain period of time. Hypoxia can pertain to the entire body or just one body part. There are certain causes to getting hypoxia. These include carbon monoxide poisoning, altitude, cyanide poisoning and other reasons.
One could be that a firefighter goes into a fire and can’t breathe because of all of the smoke. When a room is filled with smoke, people can’t breathe. Therefore, they breathe in smoke which does not have oxygen in it.
So, their body does not get the oxygen it needs. If a firefighter develops severe hypoxia a few days after the fire, requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation, he may be suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome.