Mortality Rates in Patients with ARDS: What should be the Reference Standard?

  • N. D. Ferguson
  • F. Frutos-Vivar
  • A. Esteban


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) was first described by Ashbaugh and colleagues in 1967 [1]. These authors reported a syndrome characterized by acute onset of tachypnea, hypoxemia, and loss of lung compliance after a variety of stimuli, such as pneumonia and multiple trauma. Since this original description, ARDS has become a disease entity of significant importance to intensivists because of its incidence, its high mortality rate, and the management challenges that it presents. Estimates of the incidence of this disorder vary widely (a problem that will be discussed further below) from 1.5 to 70 per 100000 population [2–7]. The reported mortality from ARDS ranges from 31–74% depending on the specific patient mix, with most deaths occurring as a consequence of multiple organ failure (MOF) and sepsis. Determining a reference mortality rate would be useful, as it would help put results from studies in clinical context, as well as being helpful in areas of quality assessment assurance. This chapter will explore two main issues in determining the mortality from ARDS. First, what is the best way to define ARDS and how will this affect mortality? Second, from which available studies should we draw our reference standard for the ARDS mortality rate?


Acute Lung Injury Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Respir Crit Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Patient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. D. Ferguson
  • F. Frutos-Vivar
  • A. Esteban

There are no affiliations available

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