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February 20, 2018

Time to Rethink the Approach to Treating Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
  • 2Regions Hospital and University of Minnesota, St Paul
JAMA. 2018;319(7):664-666. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.21900

In this issue of JAMA, Fan et al1 review the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), focusing on recent randomized clinical trials (RCTs). Most of these RCTs failed to show that the interventions that were tested offered significant benefit. These predominantly negative results may prompt the question of whether other rational and more-effective ways are available to increase knowledge and improve treatment of a syndrome that is common, deadly, and arguably emblematic of modern intensive care. Although many of these trials were admirably executed, their failure to demonstrate benefit may often have been due to uncertainties regarding enrollment criteria and imprecise deployment of the interventions that were being tested.

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