Ocular Complications in the Prone Position in the Critical Care Setting: The COVID-19 Pandemic

Link to article at PubMed

J Intensive Care Med. 2020 Sep 28:885066620959031. doi: 10.1177/0885066620959031. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Ocular complications are common in the critical care setting but are frequently missed due to the focus on life-saving organ support. The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a surge in critical care capacity and prone positioning practices which may increase the risk of ocular complications. This article aims to review all ocular complications associated with prone positioning, with a focus on challenges posed by COVID-19.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A literature review using keywords of "intensive care", "critical care", "eye care", "ocular disorders", "ophthalmic complications," "coronavirus", "COVID-19," "prone" and "proning" was performed using the electronic databases of PUBMED, EMBASE and CINAHL.

RESULTS: The effects of prone positioning on improving respiratory outcomes in critically unwell patients are well established; however, there is a lack of literature regarding the effects of prone positioning on ocular complications in the critical care setting. Sight-threatening ophthalmic disorders potentiated by proning include ocular surface disease, acute angle closure, ischemic optic neuropathy, orbital compartment syndrome and vascular occlusions.

CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 patients may be more susceptible to ocular complications with increased proning practices and increasing demand on critical care staff. This review outlines these ocular complications with a focus on preventative and treatment measures to avoid devastating visual outcomes for the patient.

PMID:32985317 | DOI:10.1177/0885066620959031

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