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  1. Baltaji, Stephanie MD
  2. Ledgerwood, Chelsea DO
  3. Finoli, Lauren PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP
  4. Lyons, Caitlin BSN, RN
  5. Cheema, Tariq MD


Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection can vary from asymptomatic to severe symptoms. It can lead to respiratory failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation. Triaging patients is key to prevent spread, conserving medical resources, and providing appropriate care. The treatment of these patients remains supportive. Respiratory failure due to the virus should be managed by providing supplemental oxygen and early intubation. Some patients develop acute respiratory distress syndrome and refractory hypoxemia. In this article, we review the 2 phenotypes of respiratory failure, mechanical ventilation and the management of refractory hypoxemia.