Crit Care Explor. 2022 Feb 18;10(2):e0638. doi: 10.1097/CCE.0000000000000638. eCollection 2022 Feb.
OBJECTIVES: To describe hospital variation in use of "guideline-based care" for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to COVID-19.
DESIGN: Retrospective, observational study.
SETTING: The Society of Critical Care Medicine's Discovery Viral Infection and RESPIRATORY ILLNESS UNIVERSAL STUDY COVID-19 REGISTRY.
PATIENTS: Adult patients with ARDS due to COVID-19 between February 15, 2020, and April 12, 2021.
INTERVENTIONS: Hospital-level use of "guideline-based care" for ARDS including low-tidal-volume ventilation, plateau pressure less than 30 cm H2O, and prone ventilation for a Pao2/Fio2 ratio less than 100.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Among 1,495 adults with COVID-19 ARDS receiving care across 42 hospitals, 50.4% ever received care consistent with ARDS clinical practice guidelines. After adjusting for patient demographics and severity of illness, hospital characteristics, and pandemic timing, hospital of admission contributed to 14% of the risk-adjusted variation in "guideline-based care." A patient treated at a randomly selected hospital with higher use of guideline-based care had a median odds ratio of 2.0 (95% CI, 1.1-3.4) for receipt of "guideline-based care" compared with a patient receiving treatment at a randomly selected hospital with low use of recommended therapies. Median-adjusted inhospital mortality was 53% (interquartile range, 47-62%), with a nonsignificantly decreased risk of mortality for patients admitted to hospitals in the highest use "guideline-based care" quartile (49%) compared with the lowest use quartile (60%) (odds ratio, 0.7; 95% CI, 0.3-1.9; p = 0.49).
CONCLUSIONS: During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, only half of patients received "guideline-based care" for ARDS management, with wide practice variation across hospitals. Strategies that improve adherence to recommended ARDS management strategies are needed.