Severe ARDS Centers

An important research study focused on the geographic characteristics of severe ARDS centers undertaken by UPMC's David Wallace (who was one of my CCM co-fellows) and colleagues is to be presented at the annual SCCM meeting in abstract form.

Wallace's study looks at the locations of hospitals equipped to care for individuals with severe ARDS based on variables such as their annual mechanical ventilation volume and capacity for ECMO. What Wallace found was that between 88 and 99.7% of the US population has access (via ground or helicopter) to a severe ARDS center within 2 hours.

This study provides essential underpinning to construct a national system of severe ARDS centers--similar to trauma, cardiac, stroke, transplant, and burn centers--which could prove crucial during an outbreak of a severe respiratory infection such as influenza, SARS, MERS, or an as yet emerged pathogen.

A few years ago, my colleagues and I developed a conceptual model to construct such a system. It is with research such as conducted by Dr. Wallace that such a system may, one day, become reality.