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


The management of acute respiratory failure varies according to the etiology. A clear understanding of physiology of respiration and pathophysiological mechanisms of respiratory failure is mandatory for managing these patients. The extent of abnormality in arterial blood gas values is a result of the balance between the severity of disease and the degree of compensation by cardiopulmonary system. Normal blood gases do not mean that there is an absence of disease because the homeostatic system can compensate. However, an abnormal arterial blood gas value reflects uncompensated disease that might be life threatening.