[ Monash University ]

Museum of Pathology

ADULT RESPIRATORY DISTRESS SYNDROME ("RESPIRATOR LUNG")

ADULT RESPIRATORY DISTRESS SYNDROME  (

Clinical History

A 27 year old woman took an overdose of barbiturates and became deeply comatose. She remained thus for 2 weeks, confluent on a respirator, until pulmonary function worsened and she died.

Pathology

The specimen shows the cut surface of the right lung. Large areas of all lobes are pale and solid due to broncho-pneumonic consolidation. Small foci of congestion and haemorrhage are also seen there. At the base of the lower lobe are several small abscesses (see back of specimen). There is a fibrino-purulent exudate on the pleural surface of the lower lobe. The findings are consistent with adult respiratory distress syndrome ("shock lung") complicated by confluent bronchopneumonia.