Acute respiratory arrest vs failure

Patient has an allergic reaction to a bee sting.  EMS gave epinephrine, Benadryl and decadron.  Patients condition worsens, did not have breath sounds and stopped breathing.  Patient was intubated, EMS reports the tongue was swollen.  Decision was made to keep patient intubated on the vent due to concern regarding residual airway edema.  Patient was extubated the following day.  The attending physician documents acute respiratory failure in the discharge summary. 

Is this acute respiratory arrest rather than acute respiratory failure?  Would anyone query the physician?

Appreciate thoughts/suggestions.


  • absent breath sounds, no respiratory rate and oxygen therapy and medical treatment would support acute respiratory failure in my perspective....secondary to anaphylactic allergic response. Based on the documentation you have described the clinical indicators, monitoring and treatment support the dx of acute respiratory failure with no need to query for clinical validity, I believe.
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