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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 21 (2014), Issue 4, Pages 213-215
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/472136
Focused Review

Does Prone Positioning Improve Oxygenation and Reduce Mortality in Patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome?

William R Henderson,1,2 Donald EG Griesdale,1,3 Paolo Dominelli,2 and Juan J Ronco1

1Division of Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2School of Kinesiology; harmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
3Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Copyright © 2014 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The emergence of computed tomography imaging more than 25 years ago led to characterization of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) as areas of relatively normal lung parenchyma juxtaposed with areas of dense consolidation and atelectasis. Given that this heterogeneity is often dorsally distributed, investigators questioned whether care for ARDS patients in the prone position would lead to improved mortality outcomes. This clinical review discusses the physiological rationale and clinical evidence supporting prone positioning in treating ARDS, in addition to its complications and contraindications.