Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)

ARDS or shock-lung, is a life-threatening condition in which the lungs become severely inflamed. It can be triggered by an infection such as pneumonia.

You’ll usually need to be admitted to an intensive care unit to be treated.

Useful resources:

Please note the British Lung Foundation is not responsible for the accuracy or quality of the information found on the websites listed above.

If you're living with a lung condition, you can call our helpline for support or join one of our local support groups.

If you have urgent concerns or need advice quickly, call our helpline on 03000 030 050 between 9am and 5pm on a weekday or email them.

Last medically reviewed: July 2017. Due for review: December 2019

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.