This article was originally published here
Ir J Med Sci. 2022 Apr 14. doi: 10.1007/s11845-022-03009-7. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Most of COVID-19 patients present with hypoxemic respiratory failure. Proning is one of the management options proven to improve oxygenation and reduce mortality in non-COVID-19-related acute respiratory distress syndrome. As a response to COVID-19 pandemic surge, a dedicated COVID-19 respiratory ward for the management of mild to moderate ARDS patients who require oxygen therapy, non-invasive ventilation (NIV), or high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) was established. We adopted a policy of early awake proning in such patients.
AIMS: To determine the physiological changes, improvement in oxygenation, the need for intubation, alongside with the duration, tolerance, and adverse effects of awake proning.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Single-center, prospective observational cohort study. All awake, non-intubated, spontaneously breathing patients with COVID-19, and hypoxemic acute respiratory failure requiring oxygen supplementation, NIV, or HF RESULTS: Fifty patients were enrolled. There was a significant improvement in oxygenation when turning the patients from supine to prone position with mean PFR was 85 (SD 13.76) in supine position which increased to 124 (SD 34.08) in prone position with substantial increase in mean PFR 1-h post proning to 138 (SD 28.01) and P-value 0.0001. Prone positioning was feasible in 41 (82%) patients (mean duration 8.5 (SD 3.13) h), and 38 (76%) patients reported that it was well tolerated.
CONCLUSION: Awake proning was feasible, tolerable, and effective in improving oxygenation in patients with COVID-19-related pneumonia and acute hypoxemic respiratory failure in this prospective study.