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Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is defined as the rapid onset of non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema resulting in respiratory failure and hypoxemia. Efforts over the past 25 years, such as those of the ARDS and Prevention and Early Treatment of Acute Lung Injury (PETAL) Networks, have demonstrated a praiseworthy collaboration to further optimize the management of ARDS. However, improvements have been only moderate and ARDS remains a leading cause of mortality in the perioperative and critical care setting. Recently, the significant morbidity and mortality of ARDS have been emphasized by its high incidence in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. A major hurdle to reducing ARDS mortality is that current treatment is limited to preventive measures – such as the use of lung-protective ventilation. Therapeutic approaches targeting the underlying inflammatory lung disease are areas of intensive research, but have not been clinically implemented. Nevertheless, basic science and clinical research efforts that are aimed at identifying novel treatment approaches and further improving outcomes for ARDS are ongoing. Here, we review evidence-based management approaches for ARDS, while highlighting those being investigated or heavily utilized in ARDS associated with COVID-19.


Adrenal Cortex Hormones, COVID-19, Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, Humans, Oxygen Inhalation Therapy, Prone Position, Respiration, Artificial, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Respiratory Therapy



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