Chronic Respiratory Failure Specialist

Pulmonology & Sleep Center

Frederick Tackey, MD

Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine & General Medicine located in Boynton Beach, FL & Delray Beach, FL

If you frequently experience shortness of breath, you may be suffering from chronic respiratory failure. At the Pulmonology & Sleep Center in Boynton Beach and Delray Beach, Florida, Frederick Tackey, MD, offers conservative, patient-centered treatment for many pulmonary conditions. Chronic respiratory failure can prevent your organs from getting the oxygen they need to function properly. For help, call or book an appointment online today.

Chronic Respiratory Failure Q&A

What is chronic respiratory failure?

When you breathe, the air travels from your nose to the small sacs in your lungs called alveoli. Small blood vessels that take in fresh oxygen and release carbon dioxide line the walls of your alveoli. 

This gas exchange is essential to your overall health and allows your body to provide oxygen-rich blood to major organs like your brain and heart while removing harmful carbon dioxide from your body. 

When your body fails to successfully complete this gas exchange, it’s known as respiratory failure. Respiratory failure can result in blood that is too low in oxygen, too high in carbon dioxide, or a combination of the two. 

Chronic respiratory failure refers to symptoms that last for weeks or even years. Chronic respiratory failure typically develops gradually, while acute respiratory failure can happen suddenly and frequently requires emergency care. 

What causes chronic respiratory failure?

There are several different lung diseases and conditions that can impair your breathing and lead to chronic respiratory failure. Some of these include:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Stroke
  • Chest injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Inhalation injuries

Lung diseases like COPD and pneumonia affect the function of your lungs and can prevent proper gas exchange. Injuries or damage to the structures that support your breathing can also result in chronic respiratory failure. 

What are the symptoms of chronic respiratory failure?

Chronic respiratory failure symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Confusion
  • Severe fatigue
  • Loss of consciousness

In cases where oxygen levels are severely low, chronic respiratory failure can cause your skin, lips, and fingernails to turn a bluish color. 

If you experience symptoms of chronic respiratory failure, the Pulmonology & Sleep Center can help you manage your symptoms and improve the function of your lungs. 

How is chronic respiratory failure treated?

The goal of treatment is to provide your body with the support it needs for proper gas exchange and address the underlying cause of your lung dysfunction. 

During your appointment, your doctor performs a thorough examination, including a physical exam, imaging tests, and blood tests to determine the levels of oxygen in your blood and the severity of your respiratory failure. 

Depending on your diagnosis and the underlying cause of your condition, treatment may include:

  • Oxygen therapy
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Antibiotics
  • Inhalers
  • Oral medications
  • IV medications

To find out which treatment is right for your chronic respiratory failure, call the Pulmonology & Sleep Center, or book an appointment online today.