Objective: To evaluate the role of continuous lateral rotational therapy on the development of ventilator-associated pneumonia in patients requiring long-term mechanical ventilation.
Design: Prospective control study.
Setting: Chronic ventilator unit in tertiary care hospital.
Methods: Thirty-seven patients requiring long-term mechanical ventilation were assigned to receive either continuous lateral rotational therapy or conventional therapy.
Results: Patients receiving continuous lateral rotational therapy had a significantly lower prevalence of pneumonia (17.6%) as compared with control patients (50%, p<.05). The development of pneumonia after being entered into the study was also significantly delayed in continuous lateral rotational therapy patients, 29 +/- 8 days vs. 12 +/- 2 days in controls (p <.05). However, unit mortality, total ventilator days, and the number of patients successfully weaned were not significantly different between groups.
Conclusion: In patients requiring long-term ventilator care, continuous lateral rotational therapy reduced the prevalence of pneumonia but did not seem to affect mortality or the period of mechanical ventilation.