Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 725–738 | Cite as

Recovery and outcomes after the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in patients and their family caregivers

  • Margaret S. HerridgeEmail author
  • Marc Moss
  • Catherine L. Hough
  • Ramona O. Hopkins
  • Todd W. Rice
  • O. Joseph Bienvenu
  • Elie Azoulay


Outcomes after acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are similar to those of other survivors of critical illness and largely affect the nerve, muscle, and central nervous system but also include a constellation of varied physical devastations ranging from contractures and frozen joints to tooth loss and cosmesis. Compromised quality of life is related to a spectrum of impairment of physical, social, emotional, and neurocognitive function and to a much lesser extent discrete pulmonary disability. Intensive care unit-acquired weakness (ICUAW) is ubiquitous and includes contributions from both critical illness polyneuropathy and myopathy, and recovery from these lesions may be incomplete at 5 years after ICU discharge. Cognitive impairment in ARDS survivors ranges from 70 to 100 % at hospital discharge, 46 to 80 % at 1 year, and 20 % at 5 years, and mood disorders including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are also sustained and prevalent. Robust multidisciplinary and longitudinal interventions that improve these outcomes are still uncertain and data in our literature are conflicting. Studies are needed in family members of ARDS survivors to better understand long-term outcomes of the post-ICU family syndrome and to evaluate how it affects patient recovery.


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) Outcome ICU acquired weakness Healthcare utilization Cost Neuropsychological 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors have nothing to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ESICM 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret S. Herridge
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marc Moss
    • 2
  • Catherine L. Hough
    • 3
  • Ramona O. Hopkins
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  • Todd W. Rice
    • 8
  • O. Joseph Bienvenu
    • 9
  • Elie Azoulay
    • 10
  1. 1.Critical Care and Respiratory Medicine, Toronto General Research InstituteUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care MedicineUniversity of Colorado School of MedicineAuroraUSA
  3. 3.Harborview Medical CenterUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Psychology DepartmentBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  5. 5.Neuroscience CenterBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  6. 6.Department of Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care MedicineIntermountain Medical CenterMurrayUSA
  7. 7.Center for Humanizing Critical CareIntermountain Health CareMurrayUSA
  8. 8.Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicineVanderbilt University Department of MedicineNashvilleUSA
  9. 9.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  10. 10.Medical ICU of the Saint-Louis HospitalParis Diderot Sorbonne UniversityParisFrance

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