The Particulars: Multiple advances have been made in the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in the past 20 years. However, assessments of ARDS-related mortality during this period have had mixed results.  

Data Breakdown: Robert Wood Johnson Medical School investigators reviewed a large patient sample to examine ARDS-related mortality trends from 1996 to 2011. During the study period, the ARDS-related mortality rate decreased from 46.8% to 32.2%. From 2000 to 2005, the mortality rate decreased 8.9%.

Take Home Pearl: Advances in the treatment of ARDS appear to have resulted in decreased mortality in last 15 years, with a sharp decline being observed between 2000 and 2005.