Acute respiratory distress syndrome presents as hypoxia and bilateral pulmonary infiltrates on chest imaging in the absence of heart failure sufficient to account for this clinical state. Management is largely supportive, and is focused on protective mechanical ventilation and the avoidance of fluid overload. Patients with severe hypoxaemia can be managed with early short-term use of neuromuscular blockade, prone position ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The use of inhaled nitric oxide is rarely indicated and both β2 agonists and late corticosteroids should be avoided. Mortality remains at approximately 30%.