Acute respiratory distress syndrome is characterised by rapid onset dyspnea, bilateral infiltrates on chest x-ray and respiratory failure. This may be due to conditions which directly affect the lung such as pneumonia, aspiration and near drowning. It may also be due to indirect lung injury, as in conditions like sepsis, pancreatitis, trauma and poisoning. The diagnostic criteria of ARDS, often described as the Berlin criteria is discussed in this presentation along with various management aspects of ARDS including ventilation strategies and use of antibiotics and diuretics. Finally prognostic features and alternative strategies are also discussed.