Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Critical care in the emergency department: acute respiratory failure


Acute respiratory failure (ARF) is a frequent emergency department (ED) presentation. The definition and common causes of ARF are discussed in this article and ED management of the condition is discussed, using an illustrative case report. The paper considers the role of B-type natriuretic peptide in diagnosis and non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in treatment. Intensive care unit admission denial is common in ARF, although the evidence base is lacking. Finally, the decision-making process is described when a patient with ARF fails to improve with NIV.

  • Cardiac care
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • heart failure
  • intensive care
  • respiratory
  • ventilation

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.