J Intensive Care Med. 2020 Sep 16:885066620959649. doi: 10.1177/0885066620959649. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: In the setting of the COVID pandemic, many patients falling ill with acute respiratory distress syndrome eventually require prone positioning for gas exchange. Traditionally, central venous catheters are inserted with patient in the supine or Trendelenburg position. However, when a patient cannot tolerate supine position and the need for central venous access is urgent, catheter placement may be considered with the patient in the prone position.
CASE SUMMARY: A 69-year-old male with rapidly declining respiratory status secondary to COVID pneumonia quickly developed acute respiratory distress syndrome, was rapidly intubated, and then placed in the prone position. Patient could not tolerate the supine position even briefly and required a central venous catheter insertion for continuous renal replacement therapy. We kept the patient in the prone position and successfully inserted a central venous catheter in such position with real-time ultrasound guidance and using micropuncture technique.
CONCLUSION: In the setting of the COVID pandemic, many cases of acute respiratory distress syndrome require patients to be prone in order to improve gas exchange. In the most severe situations, these patients would not be able to tolerate rotating back to the supine position but would still require central venous catheter insertion urgently. We demonstrated feasibility of central venous catheter insertion in the prone position in these severely ill patients.