Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a common complication of trauma and critical illness. Despite medical advances, the mortality associated with this disease process remains consistently around 50%. Extracorporeal lung assist (ECLA) is a therapeutic alternative to conventional mechanical ventilation. This therapy removes all or a substantial percentage of total body carbon dioxide production, allowing for much lower ventilator Support and facilitating “lung rest”. Although the use of ECLA is controversial, it represents a viable option for patients with severe respiratory failure

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