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).

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

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