The mortality associated with respiratory failure varies according to the etiology. For ARDS, mortality is approximately 40%-45%; this figure has not changed significantly over the years. Younger patients (<60 years) have better survival rates than older patients. Approximately two thirds of patients who survive an episode of ARDS manifest some impairment of pulmonary function 1 or more years after recovery.
Significant mortality also occurs in patients admitted with hypercapnic respiratory failure. This is because these patients have a chronic respiratory disorder and other comorbidities such as cardiopulmonary, renal, hepatic, or neurologic disease. These patients also may have poor nutritional status.
For patients with COPD and acute respiratory failure, the overall mortality has declined from approximately 26% to 10%. Acute exacerbation of COPD carries a mortality of approximately 30%. The mortality rates for other causative disease processes have not been well described.
For more on the prognosis of respiratory failure, read here.
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Cite this: Ata Murat Kaynar. Fast Five Quiz: Are You Prepared to Confront Respiratory Failure? - Medscape - Nov 16, 2015.