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August 13, 1973

Acute Respiratory Failure in Obstructive Lung DiseaseLong-Term Survival After Treatment in an Intensive Care Unit

JAMA. 1973;225(7):705-707. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220340019004

Limited data are available regarding the long-term survival of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease requiring treatment for acute respiratory failure in an intensive care unit (ICU). Follow-up of 43 such patients treated in our respiratory ICU disclosed that 30 (69.8%) survived their episode and were discharged from the unit, and 27 (62.8%) were discharged from the hospital. However, only 13 (30.2%) were alive at the time of the latest follow-up with a median survival time of 11.75 months. The heavy mortality in the two years following discharge from the unit has led us to consider how we can alter elements of our respiratory care activities to improve patient survival.