Positioning in bed for critically ill adults

Added April 9, 2020

Citation:  Hewitt N, Bucknall T, Faraone NM. Lateral positioning for critically ill adult patients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016 (5): CD007205

What is this? Some patients with COVID-19 will become critically ill and may be immobilized in bed or need mechanical ventilation (MV). Their body position may affect their heart and lungs, recovery and their chances of survival.

In this Cochrane systematic review, the authors searched for randomized and quasi-randomized trials evaluating the effects of turning patients onto their sides when they have to stay in bed. They did not impose any languages restrictions and did their searches in May 2015. They identified 24 trials. Of these, 15 were limited to patients on MV and the other 9 recruited who were breathing for themselves as well as patients on MV.

What works: Nothing noted.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: Because of shortcomings in the existing research, the potential benefits and harms of putting critically ill adults onto their sides or turning them regularly from side-to-side are uncertain for important outcomes (such as pulmonary and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality).


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