Lateral-horizontal patient position and horizontal orientation of the endotracheal tube to prevent aspiration in adult surgical intensive care unit patients: a feasibility study

Tommaso Mauri, Lorenzo Berra, Kanya Kumwilaisak, Silvia Pivi, Jacob W Ufberg, Friedrich Kueppers, Antonio Pesenti, Luca M Bigatello
2010 Respiratory care  
Recent data suggest that during mechanical ventilation the lateral-horizontal patient position (in which the endotracheal tube is horizontal) decreases the risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia, compared to the recommended semi-recumbent position (in which the endotracheal tube slopes downward into the trachea). We tested the feasibility of the lateral-horizontal patient position, measured the incidence of aspiration of gastric contents, and watched for any adverse effects related to the
more » ... al-horizontal position. Ten adult intensive care unit patients were ventilated for 64 hours in the standard semi-recumbent position, and ten for 12-24 hours in the lateral-horizontal position. Tracheal secretions were collected every 8 hours and every 4 hours, respectively, and tested for pepsin, which is a marker of gastric contents. We also recorded clinical, physiologic, and outcome variables. The patients remained stable during ventilation in the lateral-horizontal position, and no adverse events occurred. Pepsin was detected in the trachea of 7 semi-recumbent patients and in five of the lateral-horizontal patients (P = .32). The number of ventilator-free days was 8 days (range 0-21 days) in the semi-recumbent patients, versus 24 days (range 12-25 days) in the lateral-horizontal patients (P = .04). Implementing the lateral-horizontal position for 12-24 hours in adult intubated intensive care unit patients is feasible, and our patients had no adverse events. The incidence of aspiration of gastric contents in the lateral-horizontal position seems to be similar to that in the semi-recumbent position.
pmid:20196878 fatcat:lzdwr4ir7ner5fdu7upgcexbai