Eur Respir J. 2021 Jul 15:2100265. doi: 10.1183/13993003.00265-2021. Online ahead of print.
The awake prone position (AP) strategy for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a safe, simple, and cost-effective technique used to improve hypoxemia. We aimed to evaluate intubation and mortality risk in patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) who underwent AP during hospitalisation.In this retrospective, multicentre observational study conducted between May 1 and June 12, 2020 in 27 hospitals in Mexico and Ecuador, non-intubated patients with COVID-19 managed with AP or supine positioning were included to evaluate intubation and mortality risk through logistic regression models; multivariable and centre adjustment, propensity score analyses, and E-values were calculated to limit confounding. This study was registered at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04407468827 non-intubated patients with COVID-19 in the AP (n=505) and supine (n=322) groups were included for analysis. Less patients in the AP group required endotracheal intubation (23.6% versus 40.4%) or died (20% versus 37.9%). AP was a protective factor for intubation even after multivariable adjustment (OR=0.39, 95%CI: 0.28-0.56, p<0.0001, E-value=2.01), which prevailed after propensity score analysis (OR=0.32, 95%CI: 0.21-0.49, p<0.0001, E-value=2.21), and mortality (adjusted OR=0.38, 95%CI: 0.25-0.57, p<0.0001, E-value=1.98). The main variables associated with intubation amongst AP patients were increasing age, lower baseline SpO2/FiO2, and management with a non-rebreather mask.AP in hospitalised non-intubated patients with COVID-19 is associated with a lower risk of intubation and mortality.