Management of severe acute respiratory distress syndrome in Australia and New Zealand (SAGE-ANZ): An observational study

SAGE-ANZ Study Investigators and the Australia and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Clinical Trials Group, Edward Litton, Steve Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is associated with significant mortality, morbidity, and cost. We aimed to describe characteristics and management of adult patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) in Australia and New Zealand with moderate-severe ARDS, to better understand contemporary practice. Design: Bi-national, prospective, observational, multi-centre study. Setting: 19 ICUs in Australia and New Zealand. Participants: Mechanically ventilated patients with moderate-severe ARDS. Main outcome measures: Baseline demographic characteristics, ventilation characteristics, use of adjunctive support therapy and all-cause mortality to day 28. Data were summarised using descriptive statistics. Results: 200 participants were enrolled, mean (±SD) age 55.5 (±15.9) years, 40% (n = 80) female. Around half (51.5%) had no baseline comorbidities and 45 (31%) tested positive for COVID-19. On day 1, mean SOFA score was 9 ± 3; median (IQR) PaO2/FiO2 ratio 119 (89, 142), median (IQR) FiO2 70% (50%, 99%) and mean (±SD) positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP) 11 (±3) cmH2O. On day one, 10.5% (n = 21) received lung protective ventilation (LPV) (tidal volume ≤6.5 mL/kg predicted body weight and plateau pressure or peak pressure ≤30 cm H2O). Adjunctive therapies were received by 86% (n = 172) of patients at some stage from enrolment to day 28. Systemic steroids were most used (n = 127) followed by neuromuscular blockers (n = 122) and prone positioning (n = 27). Median ventilator-free days (IQR) to day 28 was 5 (0, 20). In-hospital mortality, censored at day 28, was 30.5% (n = 61). Conclusions: In Australia and New Zealand, compliance with evidence-based practices including LPV and prone positioning was low in this cohort. Therapies with proven benefit in the treatment of patients with moderate-severe ARDS, such as lung protective ventilation and prone positioning, were not routinely employed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Care and Resuscitation
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Jun 2024


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