Long-Term Outcomes in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Epidemiology, Mechanisms, and Patient Evaluation

Crit Care Clin. 2021 Oct;37(4):895-911. doi: 10.1016/j.ccc.2021.05.010. Epub 2021 May 27.


Survivors of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) experience challenges that persist well beyond the time of hospital discharge. Impairment in physical function, cognitive function, and mental health are common and may last for years. The current coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic is drastically increasing the incidence of ARDS worldwide, and long-term impairments will remain lasting effects of the pandemic. Evaluation of the ARDS survivor should be comprehensive, and common domains of impairment that have emerged from long-term outcomes research over the past 2 decades should be systematically evaluated.

Keywords: Acute lung injury; COVID-19; Cognitive function; Mental health; Physical function; Post–intensive care syndrome; Skeletal muscle.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome* / therapy
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Survivors