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Evidence-based nursing interventions and guidelines for prone positioning of adult, ventilated patients: a systematic review.


Although the prone positioning of a critically ill patient poses a challenge to nursing interventions, it remains the responsibility of nurses to develop a way to provide the same basic and intensive care to those patients lying prone as to those lying supine. The purpose of this study was firstly to conduct a systematic review of the literature as exploration and description of the evidence in support of the beneficial nursing interventions during prone positioning of ventilated patients, and secondly to develop evidence-based nursing guidelines for the nursing process.

This exploratory, descriptive and retrospective systematic review includes data from 45 clinical trials, with a total population of 2 148 patients. Data was extracted onto data abstraction forms, assessed for methodological quality and finally summarised in evidence tables. All statistical calculations for the meta-analysis were performed by the RevMan 4.2.8 program. Prone positioning showed significant (p < 0.0001) increases in the partial pressure of oxygen in arterial blood (Pa[O.sub.2]) weighted mean difference (WMD = 11.43) and the partial pressure of oxygen in arterial blood/fraction of inspired oxygen (Pa[O.sub.2]/Fi[O.sub.2]) ratio (WMD = 21.58, 95% CI = 11.36; 31.8). The effects of complications, oxygenation and haemodynamic outcomes compared with the different prone-positioning protocols produced inconclusive results. Nursing guidelines for prone positioning were developed based on the best available evidence. The lack of related articles on nursing care of prone positioning was a drawback. Based on these results, recommendations are made towards further study on the nursing care of prone-positioned patients.

Keywords: prone positioning; ventilated patients; intensive care; evidence-based; nursing guidelines


Hoewel maagleposisionering van die pasient, wat in 'n kritieke toestand is, 'n uitdaging aan verpleegsorg bied, is dit steeds die verantwoordelikheid van die verpleegkundige om dieselfde basiese en kritieke sorg aan pasiente te lewer in die maagleposisie as aan pasiente in die rugliggende posisie. Die doel van hierdie navorsing is eerstens om 'n sistematiese ontleding van die literatuur te doen as verkennende en beskrywende bewyse van die voordelige verpleegintervensies gedurende maagleposisionering van geventileerde pasiente, en tweedens om navorsingsgebaseerde verpleegriglyne op te stel wat die verpleegproses betref.

Hierdie verkennende, beskrywende en retrospektiewe sistematiese ontleding sluit data in van 45 kliniese proewe met 'n totale populasie van 2 148 pasiente. Data is deur middel van 'n gestandardiseerde data-ontledingsvorm verkry, vir die metodologiese kwaliteit daarvan geassesseer en in dataonttrekkingstabelle opgesom. Alle statistiese verwerkings vir die meta-analise is deur die RevMan 4.2.8-program gedoen. Maagleposisionering het beduidende toenames (p < 0.0001) in die arteriele suurstofdruk (Pa[O.sub.2]) geweegde gemiddelde verskil (GMV = 11.43) en die arteriele suurstofdruk/fraksie van geinspireerde suurstof-verhouding (Pa[O.sub.2]/Fi[O.sub.2]) (GMV = 21.58, 95% CI = 11.36; 31.8) getoon. Die effek van die komplikasie-, oksigenerings-, en hemodinamiese uitkomste in vergelyking met die verskillende maagleposisioneringsprotokolle het onbeduidende resultate gelewer. Verpleegriglyne vir maagleposisionering is opgestel volgens die beste beskikbare navorsingsbewyse. Die tekort aan verpleegsorgverwante artikels oor maagleposisionering word as 'n leemte beskou. Op grond van hierdie resultate word aanbevelings gemaak vir verdere studies oor die verpleegsorg van maagliggende pasiente.


Prone positioning improves oxygenation in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) by shifting blood flow to the undamaged and better-ventilated regions of the lung (Gattinoni, Tognoni, Pesenti, Taccone, Mascheroni, Labarta, Malacrida, Giulio, Fumagalli, Pelosi, Brazzi & Latini, 2001:568). ARDS is associated with high mortality rates. According to the ARDS Foundation (n.d.), the extrapolated incidence of ARDS in South Africa was 24 512 out of an estimated population of 44 448 470 in 2004, Prone positioning challenges the normal day-to-day clinical practice of intensive care nurses. This procedure can be done with the help of a few experienced colleagues, but poses some risk to the patient. These risks include unplanned extubation, accidental removal of intravenous and arterial lines and underwater chest drain tubes, obstruction of invasive lines, pressure sores and joint contractures (McAuley, 2001:12).

Patients experience facial swelling, expel large amounts of oral and nasal secretions and may develop pressure sores on weight-bearing parts of the body (Balas, 2000:24). Unintended extubation, airway obstruction and difficulties coordinating the ventilator can result in critical events. To minimise these risks, it is important to prepare appropriately and anticipate potential complications. Most complications described in literature can be avoided by means of effective planning and nursing care of these patients.

According to Curley (1999:397), clinicians are currently attempting to design safe and effective guidelines for the use of prone positioning in critically ill patients with ARDS. Nurses should be able to assess, plan, implement and evaluate this procedure independently (Grossman & Bautista, 2002:34). Curley (1999:397) suggests that evidence-based protocols and efficacy studies for nurses should be designed to determine the care requirements of these patients. The purpose of this research was firstly to conduct a systematic review in order to explore and describe the evidence in support of the beneficial nursing interventions during prone positioning of ventilated patients, and secondly to develop evidence-based nursing guidelines for the nursing process.


The research design for this study can be described as an exploratory, descriptive and retrospective systematic review. Cook, Mulrow and Haynes (1997:376) describe a systematic review as a process that involves scientific strategies to synthesise the results of multiple primary studies that address a specific clinical question.

Criteria for inclusion and exclusion of studies

Berman and Parker (2002:11) promote inclusion and exclusion criteria in a meta-analysis to safeguard against selection bias. A systematic review was performed in this present study using experimental study designs (randomised controlled trials--RCTs) as well as comparative, non-randomised and observational studies as evidence. Selected studies included a population of adult or paediatric subjects that were ventilated and turned into the prone position. In addition, the search strategy was restricted to articles published or translated into English. According to Moher, Cook, Eastwood, Olkin, Rennie and Stroup (2000:1452), "[l]anguage-restricted meta-analyses [overestimate] the treatment effect by only 2% on average compared with language-inclusive meta-analyses". Studies that included neonates or animals were excluded.

Search strategy

Evidence was gathered using bibliographical databases of systematic reviews and articles that might provide definitive primary research data. A well-formulated question guides the entire review process (Stamm, Lawrence & Richardson, 1998:2). The question guiding this study was: Which nursing interventions during prone positioning will benefit the patient and reduce or eliminate complications? Glasziou, Irwig, Bain and Colditz (2001:17) suggest that a systematic approach be taken to break the study question down into components using a Venn diagram. The components nursing interventions, prone positioning and different outcomes--were searched. Studies were located using the following search strategies: The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (CCTR), MEDLINE, ProQuest, EBSCOhost, CINAHL, the Internet, Citation Search and manual searching.

Data collection

The data collection process comprised the systematic extraction of relevant data onto standardised data abstraction forms. Hedin and Kallestal (2004:28) suggest that data abstraction forms be created in order to objectively note data from the original articles. A data abstraction form was adapted from the Handbook for compilation of reviews on interventions in the field of public health (Hedin & Kallestal, 2004:28) to measure study characteristics and outcome measures. The data from this form was used in descriptive summaries and evidence tables. Data compiled in tables was then used for qualitative description and quantitative analysis (meta-analysis).

The evidence was grouped into the following categories: demographic data, ventilation strategies, prone protocols, responder and non-responder groups, mortality, prone complications, responder outcomes, overall oxygenation outcomes and haemodynamic outcomes. An additional table was created to group exclusions and contra-indications to prone positioning. According to Hammersley (2002:1), it is important that "the practical use of research [take] in the whole range of findings on a topic, not just the results from one or two studies. For this reason, reviews play a crucial role as a bridge between research and related areas of policymaking and practice". Systematic reviews are used to integrate existing information efficiently and provide data for rational decisionmaking (Mulrow, 1994:597).

Fifty-six articles were identified, 11 of which were excluded from this review, leaving a total of 45 articles used in the final review. Data was entered onto a spreadsheet and captured into the RevMan 4.2.8 software program. Evidence gained from RCTs was used for quantitative analysis, which included a comparison between the supine and the prone position. Outcomes were chosen based on the available outcomes measured in each randomised trial. A subgroup analysis was performed to compare the results to the different protocols of prone positioning and included the following: sub-group analysis by responders and non-responders; volume-controlled and pressure-controlled ventilation; prone position with support under the chest and pelvis or without support; time in prone position; number of turns from supine to prone position; the number of personnel involved in the process; and whether pronepositioned patients were both sedated and paralysed, or only sedated.

Assessment of methodological quality

A quality rating instrument was used to assess the methodological quality of each individual study, and was included with the data abstraction form. Each study was given a level of evidence in accordance with the Oxford Centre for Evidence-based Medicine levels of evidence and thereafter graded according to grades of recommendation (Phillips, Ball, Sackett, Badenoch, Straus, Haynes & Dawes, 2001:1). This resulted in studies that rated A to D, in which A can be associated with studies of good quality and D with those of poor quality. The study quality of RCTs was evaluated in more detail by using The Jadad Quality Assessment Instrument for Clinical Trials (Jadad, Moore, Carroll, Jenkinson, Reynolds, Gavaghan & McQuay, 1996:1). This instrument assesses randomisation, doubleblinding, withdrawals and dropouts according to a scoring system with a score from 0-5. RCTs with a Jadad score of more than or equal to 3 can be considered as a medium to good quality study. Studies with a Jadad score of less than 3 are considered to be poor in methodological quality, thereby reducing the validity of the systematic review.

Data analysis

Data synthesis was achieved by a narrative summary of studies and, where appropriate, by statistically combining the data produced by individual studies (Briggs, 2001:4). All statistical calculations were performed by RevMan available from the Cochrane Collaboration (Review Manager, 2003). Meta-analysis for this systematic review involved the calculation of an estimate of the chance variation from the selected studies, namely the confidence interval (CI). Evidence gained from RCTs was presented in a graph which shows a point estimate of each study's effect size, with the CI indicated by a horizontal line on either side of the point. This is also known as a forest plot (Hetherington, 2004:1). The treatment effect, effect size and the study size or variance were measured in each study.

An odds-ratio was used to compare dichotomous outcomes and the weighted mean difference (WMD) to measure continuous data. Statistical heterogeneity was tested using a chi-square statistic (to test whether the two variables were independent or related). The degrees of freedom were calculated to determine the significance of the value of the statistic (Burns & Grove, 2001:571). Where the heterogeneity shows significance (P-value > 0.1), a random-effects model was used. Even though a significant chi-square value indicates difference, the magnitude of the difference is not revealed by the analysis (Burns & Grove, 2001:572).


Characteristics of studies

Forty-five clinical trials involving prone positioning were identified, with a total population of 2 148 patients. Fortytwo clinical trials had adult populations and three had paediatric populations (prone positioning protocols were found to be similar in both adult and paediatric populations). There were 13 RCTs, only seven of which could be included for quantitative analysis. Thirty-two non-randomised controlled trials consisted of crossover designs, retrospective analysis or chart reviews, clinical follow-up studies, prospective clinical cohort studies, case-series trials, physiological studies and descriptive and observational studies. The methodological quality assessment showed 18 A-grade, 20 B-grade and 3 Cgrade studies according to the grades of recommendation. Eight RCTs had a Jadad score below 3, five had a Jadad score of 3 and no studies had a Jadad score above 3. Participants had a mean age of 49.7 years and a mean weight of 71 kg. The percentage of patients with primary ARDS was 59%, and 41% of patients in these studies presented with secondary ARDS.


All the haemodynamic parameters increased when the patient was turned from the supine to the prone position, but only pulmonary artery wedge pressure (PAWP) showed statistical significance. The following results were available from four studies with a total sample size of 60 subjects in each position. The test for overall effect, p = 0.0009, represents a significantly higher PAWP in the prone position. PAWP was between 13.4 and 24.4 mmHg in the prone position and between 10.5 and 22 mmHg in the supine position (WMD = 2.94 mmHg). The normal value is 2-12 mmHg (Beers & Berkow, 1999:1625). These results correlate to those of a recent study performed by Ferguson, Meade, Hallett and Stewart (2002:1073). In their study the mean maximum PAWP reading among patients was 22.5 mmHg (95% CI 21.2-23.8) and the mean median PAWP was 16.6 mmHg (95% CI 15.6-17.5).

Partial pressure of oxygen in arterial blood (Pa[O.sub.2]) and partial pressure of oxygen in arterial blood/fraction of inspired oxygen (Pa[O.sub.2]/Fi[O.sub.2]) ratio (see figure 1) showed statistically significant improvements from the supine to the prone positions. These results were expected and in agreement with the outcomes of other trials on prone positioning. The Pa[O.sub.2]/Fi[O.sub.2] ratio results are far below the normal range (80 to 100 mmHg), which confirms the diagnoses of ARDS (Thelan, Urden, Lough & Stacy, 1998:662).

Nineteen trials classified their patients into responders (if they met certain oxygenation improvement criteria) and non-responders (if they did not meet these criteria). The patients were divided into a responder and nonresponder ratio, with 25% of patients classified as nonresponders and 75% as responders to prone positioning.


Prone positioning can also be combined with other treatment modalities. Among the clinical trials included, 14% of studies included inhaled nitric oxide therapy and 13% included extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), airway pressure release ventilation (APRV) with unsupported spontaneous breathing, continuous rotation and sigh breaths. Prone positioning was mostly (73% of all studies) used effectively as the only treatment modality.

In 28 trials patients were both sedated and paralysed and in eight trials, patients were sedated only. The heart rate increased by a WMD of 3.06 beats/minute in sedated and paralysed patients. The heart rate increased (insignificantly) more with sedation and paralysis than with sedation only. This may be due to the type of muscle relaxant used. Many of the studies included mentioned the use of Pancuronium bromide, a non-depolarising curaremimetic muscle relaxant which acts as an acetylcholine antagonist on neuromuscular junctions. A side effect of this drug is that it raises heart rate moderately (Wikipedia, n.d. Pancuronium). Pa[O.sub.2] increased significantly in patients who were sedated and paralysed.

Complications that occurred with prone positioning were found throughout the literature. These are listed in Table 1 from the most common complication to the least. Pressure sores were found on the face, thorax and anterior chest wall, shoulders, iliac crest, knees, lips, tongue, forehead, hips, chin, genitalia, upper chest wall (necrosis) and ears.

It was noted that endotracheal tube dislodgement and the loss of arterial or venous access occurred more often in patients in the supine than with those in the prone position. Most patients in the clinical trials included represented with mild cutaneous damage or facial oedema to some degree. Unfortunately these complications were not measured or recorded in numerical values. There was not enough data to compare the prone protocols with complications related to prone positioning.

The total number of ventilated days was found to be insignificantly more in the supine than in the prone position. Furthermore, the patients' length of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) was insignificantly longer (16.5 to 26.6 days) in the prone position than in the supine position (19.4 to 24.5 days). The mortality for patients in the clinical trials included was 33.5%.


Clinical guidelines have been defined as "systematically developed statements to assist both practitioner and patient decisions in specific circumstances" (Eccles & Mason, 2001:1). The following guidelines have been compiled by the researcher from the results and evidence obtained through summarising all available data and quantitative analysis. Nursing guidelines according to the nursing process are presented in Table 2 as actions, supported by evidence.


Prone positioning shows significant increases in the oxygenation outcomes of patients with ARDS or acute lung injury. Complications with this procedure may be numerous, but these did not occur to the extent that was expected. Nursing interventions that benefited the patient and reduced complications (according to the best available evidence) are described in Table 2.

This study has several limitations. The specific objective of this study was to obtain evidence representative of the nursing activities related to prone positioning. Nursing-care related articles were few and selected articles presented different treatment strategies and outcomes, which mostly did not include nursing activities. A further limitation of this review is the number of studies of poor methodological quality. Most of the studies that were included in this review were of a short duration and thus no long-term benefits or complications of the prone position could be assessed.


Comparisons were made between the supine and the prone positions. Different outcomes were measured, which included oxygenation outcomes, responder and non-responder groups, haemodynamic outcomes, complications in the prone position, mortality, the length of stay in ICU and the total number of ventilated days. These outcomes were measured against the existing prone protocols in order to provide an answer to the research question. The results that were analysed presented the best available evidence to support nursing guidelines for prone positioning of adult, ventilated patients.

The studies that were included in this review reflect mostly medical treatment and the outcomes based on this treatment. The researcher would recommend further research (nursing research) that addresses nursing actions and outcomes regarding patients in the prone position.


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Suegnet Nortje


Senior Registered Nurse, Cardio-thoracic Intensive Care Unit

Dr Elsabe Nel


Senior Lecturer, Department of Nursing Science, University of Johannesburg

Prof. Anna Nolte


Professor, Department of Nursing Science, University of Johannesburg

Corresponding author:
Table 1: Complications that occurred
in the prone position


Decrease in pulse oximetry (Sp[O.sub.2]) 28.0
New pressure sores 25.7
Bradycardia 10.2
Cardiac arrest 10.0
Decreased blood pressure 10.0
Dislodged endotracheal tube 6.3
Facial oedema 5.7
Atelectasis 3.5
Pneumothorax 3.2
Blocked endotracheal tube 3.0
Mild cutaneous and mucosal damage 0.8
Intolerance to enteral feeding 0.8
Loss of venous access 0.4
SVT/tachycardia 0.1
Contractures 0.1
Corneal ulceration 0.1
Loss of arterial access 0.1

Table 2: Evidence-based nursing guidelines according to the
nursing process (regarding assessment, planning, implementation
and evaluation)



Assess the patient's There is a significant improvement in the
indications and Pa[0.sub.2]/Fi[O.sub.2] ratio with patients
contra-indications in the prone position. Prone positioning
to prone positioning. has been indicated in the acute respiratory
 distress syndrome (ARDS) with Pa[0.sub.2]/
 Fi[O.sub.2] < 200 mmHg. In 45 clinical
 trials patients with the following
 conditions were not turned to the prone
 position: diseases that relate to severe
 cardiac failure, acute myocardial
 infarction, cerebral oedema, decreased
 cerebral perfusion pressure, increased
 intracranial pressure, haemodynamic
 instability, spinal instability and
 fractures, chronic obstructed pulmonary
 disease, abdominal surgery, open abdomen
 (peritonitis) and ascitis, cranial trauma
 and craniofacial surgery, unstable long
 bone fractures, flail chest or chest wall
 abnormalities, some infective pulmonary
 conditions, orthopaedic traction, recent
 sternotomy, acute bleeding, haemoptysis
 and alveolar haemorrhage, extensive skin
 lesions, bone marrow transplants, lung
 transplants, liver transplants and

Assess the patient's Sedation together with paralysis
need for sedation or of the patient was more often used
paralysis. as part of the prone protocols
 than sedation only (28 vs 8
 trials). Intracranial pressure
 (ICP) increased with a WMD of
 10.2 and central venous pressure
 (CVP) increased by 0.55 mmHg in
 patients who were only sedated.
 Heart rate increased by a WMD of
 3.06 beats minute in sedated and
 paralysed patients. PaC[0.sub.2]
 decreased with a WMD of -0.61 in
 patients who were only sedated.
 Pa[0.sub.2] increased significantly
 in patients who were both sedated
 and paralysed.

Assess the patient's Only 14 of 1 626 patients showed
nutritional needs intolerance to enteral feeding.
and determine by which Both parenteral and enteral feeding
feeding method the were used in prone protocols. Only
patient would benefit. nine studies on prone positioning
 mention nutrition and feeding.
 Enteral feeding was given
 continuously in five studies.

Assess each individual The endotracheal tube was blocked in 3% of
patient's need for patients. In-line suctioning catheters can
airway clearance be placed to ensure easier access to
(suctioning). clear the airway of secretions.

Assess each patient A total of 25.7% of the patients
for skin condition developed new pressure sores
and integrity before during prone positioning.
and after prone

Assess the stability Patients may become more unstable with
of the patient's the turning procedure from supine to
condition using prone position. This can be confirmed
haemodynamic by the complications that were found
parameters and in this review. A decrease in pulse
oxygenation outcomes. oximetry (SP02) represented 28% of
 patients. Tachycardia or
 supra-ventricular tachycardia
 occurred in 0.1 of patients. In one
 study 175 patients had cardiac
 arrest (10%), bradycardia
 represented 10.2% of the
 population and 283 patients
 out of 791 had decreased blood
 pressure (10%).



Plan a safe Complications that occur in prone
environment (e.g. positioning can have life-threatening
emergency trolley consequences that require immediate
within reach) to action. The evidence shows that the
ensure fast endotracheal tube was dislodged in
action in case 6.3% of patients, which would require
of life- immediate re-intubation. Loss of
threatening venous access occurred in seven
events. patients, and loss of arterial
 access in one patient. These
 patients are mostly dependent on
 inotropic support through invasive
 lines, which, when accidentally
 removed, can cause a critical

Plan for five people The evidence shows that the endotracheal
(ensure that someone tube was dislodged in 6.3% of patients,
who can intubate is which would require immediate re-
near or within reach) intubation. The evidence suggests
to assist in the that three to six people should be
prone-positioning involved in the turning process.
process. According to the results, the ideal
 number of personnel would be 4.6
 (rounded off to 5) people. Heart
 rate increased and the mean arterial
 pressure (MAP) decreased if only
 three people assisted in the
 turning process.

Plan in advance for Additional turning and positioning
specialised beds, equipment or a pressure-relieving
mattresses or turning aid was used in 15 studies. In 9
equipment, e.g. of 15 studies, patients were placed
air-cushioned beds on air-cushioned beds, which have
or Vollman prone special air mattresses with a
positioner. dynamic cell design and automatic
 adjustment for patient weight
 (Gainnier, Michelet, Thirion,
 Arnal, Sainty & Papazian,

Plan the length of The minimum duration in the prone position
time for which the was 6.4 hours and the maximum duration was
patient will be in 20.7 hours. Oxygenation outcomes were
the prone position positive for patients who remained in
according to the the prone position for less than 12 hours.
physician's These results were not significant.
prescription Haemodynamic outcomes varied in their
and the patient's results. Heart rate and MAP increased
tolerance of the with the patient in the prone position
position. for less than 12 hours, while the mPAP
 (mean pulmonary artery pressure)
 lowered during this time, which can be
 considered a positive response. New
 pressure sores developed more in patients
 who were in the prone position for more
 than 12 hours. Mortality was less in
 patients who remained in the prone
 position for a shorter period. From
 this evidence, more favourable results
 were obtained in patients who remained
 in the prone position for a period less
 than 12 hours.



Organise the five The person at the patient's head should be
staff members as responsible for tracheal intubation.
follows: one at Someone else should be responsible for
the patient's the patency of the central lines (Chatte,
head and two on Sab, Dubois, Sirodot, Gaussorgues &
either side of Robert, 1997:474).
the patient's

Choose an appropriate Volume-controlled mode of ventilation
mode of ventilation was used in 14 prone protocols and the
and individualise pressure-controlled mode of ventilation
ventilator settings. was used in 9 trials. The Pa[0.sub.2],
 Pa[O.sub.21]Fi[O.sub.2] ratio and
 minute volume showed better results
 in the volume-controlled mode of
 ventilation. These results were not
 conclusive, however, owing to the
 lack of data on the pressure-
 controlled mode of ventilation.
 Throughout study protocols, the
 mean Fi[0.sub.2] (fraction of inspired
 oxygen) was 0.8%, the mean frequency
 setting was 18.4, tidal volume
 (measured as mi/kg) was 8.6 ml/kg,
 and the maximum PEEP (Positive end
 expiratory pressure) applied was
 11.1 mmHg.

Monitor the patient's 28% of patients presented with a decrease
oxygenation outcomes in SP[0.sub.2] and 25% of patients can be
by performing blood classified as non-responders. 75% of
gas sampling before patients responded positively to prone
and after prone positioning with significant increases
positioning and in Pa[0.sub.2]. Blood gas sampling was
regularly on an regularly performed in all studies to
individual basis. measure the outcome and effect of
 treatment. The effects and outcomes of
 prone positioning should also be
 assessed when this treatment is used.

Aspirate gastric Only two studies mentioned that
content before gastric content was aspirated
prone positioning (and in both cases it was done
and continue to measure residual volumes).
with appropriate
nutrition after
the procedure.

Secure the patient's Only a few studies mentioned suctioning
endotracheal tube practices (clearing of the airway), with
before prone no mention of the frequency and actual
positioning. suctioning methods. Suctioning was mostly
In-line suctioning performed before and after positioning
catheters can be (Blanch, Mancebo, Perez, Martinez, Mas,
placed to ensure Betbese, Joseph, Ballos, Lucangelo &
easier access Bak 1997:1034; Chatte et al. 1997:474;
to clear the Johannigman, Davis, Miller, Campbell,
airway of Luchette, Frame & Branson, 2001:590).
secretions and Closed suctioning systems were used
suction when (Fridrich, Krafft, Hochleuthner &
necessary. Mauritz, 1999:1207).

Disconnect monitoring Vital signs were monitored closely
devices or lines before and after turning events in
that could obstruct most studies, for example in the
or restrict the study by Goettler, Pryor, Hoey,
turning of a Phillips, Balas and Shapiro
patient. Ensure (2002:453). Evidence from the
the patient's trials included suggests that
safety at all the patient should be removed
times or rearrange from certain monitoring devices
monitoring cables, to facilitate an unrestricted
probes and turn (Mentzelopoulos, Zakynthinos,
invasive monitoring Roussos, Tzoufi & Michalopoulos,
devices before the 2003:1760).
procedure to ensure

Monitor haemodynamic All the haemodynamic parameters increased
parameters before, when the patient was turned from the
during and after the supine to the prone position. Pulmonary
prone positioning artery wedge pressure increased
process for early significantly. In order to monitor
detection of any patients effectively, these patients had
instability. indwelling catheters (pulmonary artery,
 arterial and venous), pulse oximetry
 probes, electrocardiographic leads,
 Foley catheters and a few other devices
 (e.g. cardiac output monitors). In all
 45 trials included, these devices were
 used to some extent to facilitate
 continuous measurements and monitoring.

Turning the patient into the prone position and care
provided in this position

Option 1: Position the Eleven studies supported a lateral
patient's head position (the patient's head was
laterally, or turned laterally, supported under
Option 2: Position the the side of the head). Theoretically
patient's head the lateral positioning of a
facing downward (on patient's head may compress the
forehead and chin). jugular veins, which can cause
 raised intracranial pressure. Seven
Provide pressure studies supported a full frontal
relief under pressure position (head in total prone
parts, e.g. the position and supported under the
patient's ears, forehead and chin). In the study
forehead or chin, by Jolliet, Bulpa and Chevrolet
and to avoid eye (1998:1980), three patients developed
injuries. pressure sores on the chin. The
 evidence found one patient with an
 infectious corneal ulceration. There
 was no evidence suggesting that one
 position was preferred over the other.

Ensure the patency and The loss of venous access occurred in
correct position of seven patients and the loss of arterial
invasive lines and access in one patient.
tubes. Apply a
moisture barrier Most patients presented with mild
to the patient's cutaneous damage or facial oedema to
entire face to some degree. Unfortunately these
protect the skin complications were not measured or
integrity against recorded in numerical values. Care
secretions from the should be taken to avoid these
nose and mouth. complications.

Option 3: Turn the Nine studies supported option 3 and
patient without 13 studies option 4. Oxygenation
any support under improved markedly with option 3.
the chest or In the group without support under
pelvis (the the chest and pelvis (option 3),
patient lies flat the Pa[0.sub.2]/Fi[O.sub.2] ratio
against the showed a significant increase with
mattress), or a WMD of 61.02 (95% CI 32.67; 89.38)
Option 4: between the supine and prone
Support the positions.
patient's body
under the chest
and pelvis
(with pillows
or other
with the
protruding and
hanging free
from the bed.

Option 5: Keep the In 12 studies the patients' arms
patient's arms were placed next to their bodies
straight and (parallel) and in four studies the
parallel to the patients' arms were bent at the
body, or shoulder and at 90[degrees] at the
Option 6: Bend one elbow.
arm at the
shoulder and
90[degrees] at
the elbow.

Provide movement to Head and arm positions were changed
extremities on a two hourly in studies that reported
regular basis and mobilisation of extremities, for
turn the patient's example in the study by Offner,
head and arms two Haenel, Moore, Biffl, Franciose
hourly to the and Burch (2000:225). Three patients
opposite position. presented with contractures.

Position the patient's According to the evidence,
body into left and 4.4 hours were used in the
right lateral supine position for procedures
decubitus position and nursing care. In the study by
for nursing care, Guerin, Gaillard, Lemasson,
or turn the patient Ayzac, Girard, Beuret, Palmier,
back to the Viet Le, Sirodot, Rosselli,
supine position. Cadiergue, Sainty, Barbe,
 Combourieu, Debatty, Rouffineau,
 Ezingeard, Millet, Guelon,
 Rodriguez, Martin, Renault,
 Sibille and Kaidomar (2004:2381),
 it was suggested that patients be
 turned to a left and right
 lateral decubitus position.

Record the patient's In 45 studies 25% were non-responders and
response or non- 75% were responders to prone positioning.
response to this Patients who first responded generally
procedure. It is maintained or increased their oxygenation
suggested that response. Patients who did not respond
patients be monitored initially may respond at a second or third
meticulously attempt. A patient was considered a
for the first responder when the Pa02/Fi[O.sub.2] ratio
30 minutes to an increased by at least 15 to 20% or more,
hour to assess or when there was an improvement in
their response Pa[0.sub.2] of more than 7 to 10 mmHg or
to the procedure. 20% after 30 minutes. There were a few
 variations on these classification criteria
 which included an increase of 20 mmHg in
 the Pa[0.sub.2] /Fi[O.sub.2] ratio or a
 decrease of more than 10% in the
 oxygenation index.

Monitor the patient's In the study by Chiumello, Cressoni,
intake and urine Racagni, Landi, Bassi, Polli, Carlesso
output. and Gattinoni (2006:6), urine output
 was less in the prone (mean 90;
 [+ or -]SD 64) than in the supine
 (mean 111; [+ or -] SD 71) position.



Evaluate the patient's The overall shunt fraction in patients
oxygenation response decreased from 34.3% in the supine to
to the prone position 26.6% in the prone position. Pa[0.sub.2]
and follow up on non- increased from 89.3 mmHg in the supine
responders. to 137.2 mmHg in the prone position.

Evaluate the Mild cutaneous and mucosal damage
occurrence of occurred in 14 patients
complications and I and facial oedema in 93 cases.
take appropriate
nursing actions
to prevent these

Evaluate the patient's The mean number of prone cycles was
condition and 10.6 times, ranging from 1-23 times.
determine whether Oxygenation outcomes improved in
one turn is patients who were turned only once.
sufficient or The dislodgement of endotracheal
whether more turns tubes and the number of new pressure
should be performed. sores occurred more often in patients
 with two or more turning events.
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Title Annotation:RESEARCH
Author:Nortje, Suegnet; Nel, Elsabe; Nolte, Anna
Publication:Health SA Gesondheid
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 1, 2008
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