Ventilatory failure

A life-threatening condition in which the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood rises, and the amount of oxygen falls, due to disruption of the normal exchange of gases between the air in the lungs and the blood. Ventilatory failure may be due to brain damage or to depression of the respiratory centres by excessive doses of drugs such as morphine. Treatment may involve artificial ventilation or, in some cases, the use of respiratory stimulant drugs. (See also respiratory failure.)


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