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Acute respiratory distress syndrome, epoprostenol, hypoxemia, inhaled vasodilator, prostacyclin



  1. Arumpanayil, Angela BSN, RN, CCRN


This article presents a case study demonstrating various rescue therapies considered in the care of a patient with severe, refractory hypoxemia secondary to acute respiratory distress syndrome. In particular, inhaled epoprostenol (Flolan) is becoming an increasingly common alternative to nitric oxide in the treatment of severe, refractory hypoxemia. Research comparing the 2 inhaled vasodilators suggests that epoprostenol is equally efficacious, easier to administer, less costly, and has fewer adverse effects. This article, using a case study approach, discusses the practical implications of this emerging therapy.