The aim of this study was to define whether rapidly reallocating health care workers not experienced with PP for performing PP in ICU is feasible and safe.
Summary Background Data:
In the setting of severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the use of prone and supine positioning procedures (PP) has been associated with improved oxygenation resulting in decreased mortality. Nevertheless, applying PP is time consuming for ICU staffs that are at risk of mental of physical exhaustion, especially with the constant surge of admitted COVID-19 patients with severe ARDS.
This prospective cohort study conducted at a single regional university hospital between March 27 and April 15, 2020. Among 117 patients admitted to ICU, 67 patients (57.3%) presented with proven SARS-CoV-2 infection with severe ARDS requiring PP. After accelerated simulation training, 109 volunteers including surgeons, physicians, nurses and physiotherapists, multiple dedicated teams performed daily multiple PP following a systematic checklist. Patient demographics and PP data were collected. Patient safety and health care workers safety were assessed.
Among 117 patients admitted to ICU, 67 patients (57.3%) required PP. Overall, 53 (79%) were male, with a median age of 68.5 years and median body mass index of 29.3 kg/m2. A total of 384 PP were performed. Overall, complication occurred in 34 PP (8.8%) and led to PP cancelation in 4 patients (1%). Regarding health care workers safety, four health care workers presented with potential COVID-19 related symptoms and none was positive.
To overcome the surge of critically ill COVID-19 patients, reallocating health care workers to targeted medical tasks beyond their respective expertise such as PP was safe.