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Incidence and recognition of acute respiratory distress syndrome in a UK intensive care unit
  1. Charlotte Summers1,2,
  2. Nanak R Singh1,
  3. Linda Worpole1,
  4. Rosalind Simmonds1,
  5. Judith Babar3,
  6. Alison M Condliffe1,
  7. Kevin E Gunning2,
  8. Andrew J Johnston2,
  9. Edwin R Chilvers1
  1. 1Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge, UK
  2. 2John V Farman Intensive Care Unit, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK
  3. 3Department of Radiology, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Charlotte Summers, Division of Anaesthesia, Department of Medicine, Box 93, Level 4, Addenbrooke's Hospital, CUHNHSFT, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 OQQ, UK; cs493{at}


The reported incidence of ARDS is highly variable (2.5%–19% of intensive care unit (ICU) patients) and varies depending on study patient population used. We undertook a 6-month, prospective study to determine the incidence and outcome of ARDS in a UK adult University Hospital ICU. 344 patients were admitted during the study period, of these 43 (12.5%) were determined to have ARDS. Patients with ARDS had increased mortality at 28 days and 2 years post-diagnosis, and there was under-recognition of ARDS in both medical records and death certificattion. Our findings have implications for critical care resource planning.

  • ARDS

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  • CS and NRS contributed equally.

  • Contributors CS, ERC, AMC, KEG and AJJ contributed to the concept/design of the study. LW and RS collected the data. NRS, JB and ERC undertook the data validation. CS analysed the data. CS and ERC wrote the manuscript.

  • Funding The study was supported by the Wellcome Trust (WT101692MA) (CS). Intensive Care Society; NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Papworth Hospital and East of England CRN.

  • Competing interests CS, AMC and ERC have received project grant funding from GSK to undertake preclinical studies of the effect of novel therapeutic agents relevant to ARDS. The authors have no other relevant interest to declare.

  • Ethics approval Cambridgeshire 3 REC.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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