Awake Prone Positioning for Non-Intubated COVID-19 Patients with Acute Respiratory Failure: A Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials

Link to article at PubMed

J Clin Med. 2023 Jan 25;12(3):926. doi: 10.3390/jcm12030926.


INTRODUCTION: Awake prone positioning (APP) has been widely applied in non-intubated patients with COVID-19-related acute hypoxemic respiratory failure. However, the results from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are inconsistent. We performed a meta-analysis to assess the efficacy and safety of APP and to identify the subpopulations that may benefit the most from it.

METHODS: We searched five electronic databases from inception to August 2022 (PROSPERO registration: CRD42022342426). We included only RCTs comparing APP with supine positioning or standard of care with no prone positioning. Our primary outcomes were the risk of intubation and all-cause mortality. Secondary outcomes included the need for escalating respiratory support, length of ICU and hospital stay, ventilation-free days, and adverse events.

RESULTS: We included 11 RCTs and showed that APP reduced the risk of requiring intubation in the overall population (RR 0.84, 95% CI: 0.74-0.95; moderate certainty). Following the subgroup analyses, a greater benefit was observed in two patient cohorts: those receiving a higher level of respiratory support (compared with those receiving conventional oxygen therapy) and those in intensive care unit (ICU) settings (compared to patients in non-ICU settings). APP did not decrease the risk of mortality (RR 0.93, 95% CI: 0.77-1.11; moderate certainty) and did not increase the risk of adverse events.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with COVID-19-related acute hypoxemic respiratory failure, APP likely reduced the risk of requiring intubation, but failed to demonstrate a reduction in overall mortality risk. The benefits of APP are most noticeable in those requiring a higher level of respiratory support in an ICU environment.

PMID:36769574 | DOI:10.3390/jcm12030926

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