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  1. Lamba, Tejpreet Singh MD
  2. Sharara, Rihab Saeed MD
  3. Singh, Anil C. MD, MPH, FCCP
  4. Balaan, Marvin MD, FCCP


Respiratory failure is a condition in which the respiratory system fails in one or both of its gas exchange functions. It is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients admitted to intensive care units. It is a result of either lung failure, resulting in hypoxemia, or pump failure, resulting in alveolar hypoventilation and hypercapnia. This article covers the basic lung anatomy, pathophysiology, and classification of respiratory failure.