Adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is also known as shock lung, wet lung, white lung, or acute respiratory distress syndrome, and occurs frequently after an acute or traumatic injury or illness involving the respiratory system. The body responds to the injury with life-threatening respiratory failure and hypoxemia.
ARDS is usually noted 12-24 hours after the initial insult or 5-10 days after sepsis occurs. Dyspnea with hyperventilation and hypoxemia are usually the first clinical symptoms. Adventitious breath sounds frequently are not present initially.