Coppo, Anna et al. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. 2020; Volume 8, Issue 8, 765-774
This prospective cohort study aimed to assess the feasibility and effect on gas exchange of prone positioning in 56 awake, non-intubated patients with COVID-19-related pneumonia. Several variables were evaluated including demographics, anthropometrics, arterial blood gas, and ventilation parameters. The primary measured outcome was the variation in oxygenation between baseline and resupination, which served as an index of pulmonary recruitment. Findings have shown that prone positioning in awake, spontaneously breathing patients is achievable outside of the critical care environment in the majority of the patients. Improvements have been observed in oxygenation via Helmet CPAP interface (n=44), reservoir mask (n=9) and Venturi mask (n=3), during prone position, which was preserved upon resupination by half of the patients for 1 hour or more, as well as non-significant reduction in dyspnoea. Furthermore, patient discomfort was minimal and prone position was found to be a valuable patient engaging technique that improved blood gas parameters in the short term in patients with COVID-19-related pneumonia.
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Longhini F, Bruni A, Garofalo E, et al. Pulmonology. 2020;26(4):186-191
This study set out to investigate the safety and efficacy of combining helmet CPAP (hCPAP) and prone position in order to avoid deterioration of gas exchange and intubation in patients with COVID-19 induced pneumonia. Preliminary results from an ongoing study in COVID-19 patients, measuring tidal volume during hCPAP, showed a low mean tidal volume, high pulmonary compliance and low respiratory rate, which translates in a low transpulmonary pressure. At this stage the real effects and efficacy of hCPAP from the pathophysiological stand point is not known. In healthy patients, findings suggest that redistribution of perfusion could improve oxygenation in patients lacking hypoxic vasoconstriction. If the hypothesis presented in this study is confirmed, this may reduce the requirement for endotracheal intubation, invasive mechanical ventilation, hospital length of stay and improving the survival rates. Moreover, it could also reduce the need for ICU beds, which can be substituted by sub-intensive beds.
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