Table 2.

Summary of reports into conscious prone positioning in COVID-19 patients

AuthorsnIntervention (respiratory device)SettingOutcomeKey resultsStrengthsLimitations
Caputo et al, 20202950Single episode of prone position for 5 minutes
(Non-rebreathe mask or nasal cannula)
ED (ARF)Improvement in SpO2 from supine to proneSpO2 increased from 84% to 94%* (FiO2 not altered)Proves feasibility in acute setting
Prone positioning was only intervention
Oxygen delivery not optimised before intervention
Short prone episode
Elharrar et al, 20203024Single episode of prone positioning for as long as tolerated
(Nasal cannula n=16, facemask/HFNC n=8)
Non-ICU (ARF)Increase in PaO2 of ≥20% when in prone positionSix responded (PaO2 9.8 to 12.5 kPa, 95% CI 0.8–4.8)Measured response to re-supination
10-day follow up
Only 28% met inclusion criteria
Unclear who received HFNC
Variable length of intervention
Sartini et al, 20203115Evaluation of all prone episodes on a single day (duration of episodes 3 hours, IQR 1–6)
(CPAP while in prone position)
Non-ICU (ARDS)Change in RR, SpO2 and PaO2/FiO2 when in prone positionAll had significantly improved SpO2 and PaO2/FiO2 during prone position§Proves feasibility
14-day follow up
Interventions combined
Patients already receiving intervention for median 5 days prior
Patients not included if had failed intervention prior to day of data collection
  • ARF = acute respiratory failure; CPAP = continuous positive airway pressure; ED = emergency department; HFNC = high flow nasal cannula; ICU = intensive care unit; RR = respiratory rate. *p=0.001. Four patients tolerating <1 hour, 15 tolerating for >3 hours. Three participants maintained response when returned to supine. §p<0.001; however, exact figures not supplied.