Prone positioning in non-intubated patients with COVID-19
Prone positioning is a well-known supportive maneuver to improve oxygenation for patients with moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Although this technique is usually performed to sedated patients on invasive mechanical ventilation, it has been used in non-intubated patients frequently during the coronavirus diseases-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Favorable outcomes have been reported mainly in combining the prone positioning with high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) or non-invasive ventilation (NIV). Due to limited data, a standard approach for the awake prone positioning has not yet been defined. In this manuscript, we reviewed the literature data about prone positioning in non-intubated patients with COVID-19. According to available literature data, we concluded that prone positioning in non-intubated COVID-19 patients may improve oxygenation and prevent the need for invasive mechanical ventilation. But the efficacy is still controversial in the early stage of the disease due to pulmonary mechanics. Further studies are needed to the defined optimal approach of awake prone positioning in COVID-19 patients with hypoxemic respiratory failure.