Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) mainly affects adults. It occurs when a person?s lungs become seriously damaged and filled with fluid, affecting their ability to breathe in oxygen.
The damage can occur because of:
?an injury to the lungs or a lung infection, such as pneumonia or flu
?an infection that spreads from another part of the body into the blood and then into the lungs (this is a common cause of ARDS)
ARDS mainly affects people over 75 years of age. It?s estimated that only 1 in every 6,000 people will develop the condition in England each year.