AHS’ COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) recently investigated the latest evidence from around the world pertaining to a key topic: prone positioning for COVID-19 patients.
Prone positioning is a non-pharmacological therapy for hypoxemic respiratory failure (HRF) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) where patients lay on their stomach rather than their back; it can be a life-saving intervention for intubated and mechanically ventilated patients in the ICU. While prone positioning may improve oxygen saturation levels for COVID-19 patients with acute HRF, its effect on clinical outcomes and associated risks have not been established. Although it may improve oxygen saturation there is less data on impact on overall outcome measures, and previous studies in patients with ARDS raise concerns about aspiration, hemodynamic instability, pressure ulcers, cardiac arrest, and delayed intubation.
Recommendations & Practical Considerations
Prone positioning of awake COVID-19 patients with HRF is not recommended in routine practice due to the lack of evidence pertaining to efficacy and risk to patients.
If a patient is being considered for awake prone positioning outside of clinical trials:
- They should be assessed to determine their ability to communicate; contraindications related to prone positioning, like respiratory distress, should be ruled out.
- Health system equipment, staffing and monitoring should be assessed to ensure patient safety.
- For non-critical care COVID-19 patients, a pathway should be developed to determine thresholds of care related to escalation and/or discontinuation of the intervention.
To see the complete list of Rapid Response Reports, please check the COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Group website. New reports and updates appear here on a daily basis.
Related NewsAll News & Events
November 7, 2023
Alberta Virtual Care Coordinating Body releases report: “Interoperability Saves Lives”
Edmonton, AB – As a member of the Alberta Virtual Care Coordinating Body (AVCCB), CPSA is delighted to share the AVCCB’s highly anticipated and newly released report “Interoperability Saves Lives”. Health data is the cornerstone of quality health care; the ability to exchange health data efficiently and safely between platforms and health providers is essential...
Media Release, Partners, Virtual Care
September 20, 2023
Siksika Nation and CPSA Sign Historic Memorandum of Understanding
At this historic point in time, there is a mutual recognition of the autonomy and self-government of Siksika Nation (“Siksika”) and CPSA’s regulatory authority over physicians and physician assistants practicing in Siksika, and the adoption of measures to address systemic racism in health care. Board Chair, Siksika Health Services: Ike Solway Chair, CPSA Council: Stacey...
Indigenous Health, Media Release, Partners