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Patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are increase risk for diminishing oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange at the alveoli with excess fluid in the lung space. ARDS is a rapidly progressive, life threatening disease especially in critically ill and elderly patients. Immediate action by the healthcare team is needed to resolve the underlining issue.

As a nurse, you will proactively monitor your critically ill patients and consistently turn your patients to ensure all areas of the lungs are ventilated and perfused adequately. The ventilator will do the work of breathing for the patient, so no need to instruct the patient to breath more heavily. Changing the PEEP or administering additional paralytics would not be appropriate for the nursing to unilaterally do without being instructed by the managing physician.

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