Our expert says:
The disease process of ARDS is still not understood very well but we know that it is caused by chemicals in the blood that is released by mechanical trauma and stress, that causes inflammation of they lung tissue. This causes the lungs not to ventilate properly causing fluid on the lungs and shortness of breath or acute asphyxia. It can cause scar tissue in the lungs depending on how bad the inflammation was, but many patients recover fully.
See this article: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/acute_respiratory_distress_syndrome/article_em.htm
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