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Pulmonology ; 28(3): 181-192, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1144904


BACKGROUND/MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective cohort study was conducted in two teaching hospitals over a 3-month period (March 2010-June 2020) comparing severe and critical COVID-19 patients admitted to Respiratory Intensive Care Unit for non-invasive respiratory support (NRS) and subjected to awake prone position (PP) with those receiving standard care (SC). Primary outcome was endotracheal intubation (ETI) rate. In-hospital mortality, time to ETI, tracheostomy, length of RICU and hospital stay served as secondary outcomes. Risk factors associated to ETI among PP patients were also investigated. RESULTS: A total of 114 patients were included, 76 in the SC and 38 in the PP group. Unadjusted Kaplan-Meier estimates showed greater effect of PP compared to SC on ETI rate (HR = 0.45 95% CI [0.2-0.9], p = 0.02) even after adjustment for baseline confounders (HR = 0.59 95% CI [0.3-0.94], p = 0.03). After stratification according to non-invasive respiratory support, PP showed greater significant benefit for those on High Flow Nasal Cannulae (HR = 0.34 95% CI [0.12-0.84], p = 0.04). Compared to SC, PP patients also showed a favorable difference in terms of days free from respiratory support, length of RICU and hospital stay while mortality and tracheostomy rate were not significantly different. CONCLUSIONS: Prone positioning in awake and spontaneously breathing Covid-19 patients is feasible and associated with a reduction of intubation rate, especially in those patients undergoing HFNC. Although our results are intriguing, further randomized controlled trials are needed to answer all the open questions remaining pending about the real efficacy of PP in this setting.

COVID-19 , Respiratory Insufficiency , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Cohort Studies , Humans , Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology , Retrospective Studies , Wakefulness