Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2022 Aug;40(3):459-472. doi: 10.1016/j.emc.2022.05.002. Epub 2022 May 10.


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) occurs in up to 10% of patients with respiratory failure admitted through the emergency department. Use of noninvasive respiratory support has proliferated in recent years; clinicians must understand the relative merits and risks of these technologies and know how to recognize signs of failure. The cornerstone of ARDS care of the mechanically ventilated patient is low-tidal volume ventilation based on ideal body weight. Adjunctive therapies, such as prone positioning and neuromuscular blockade, may have a role in the emergency department management of ARDS depending on patient and department characteristics.

Keywords: ARDS; High-flow nasal cannula; Mechanical ventilation; Noninvasive ventilation; Respiratory failure; Respiratory support.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Patient Positioning
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome* / therapy
  • Respiratory Insufficiency*
  • Tidal Volume