Prone-positioning therapy in ARDS

Crit Care Clin. 2011 Jul;27(3):511-23. doi: 10.1016/j.ccc.2011.05.010.


The prone position has been used to improve oxygenation in patients with severe hypoxemia and acute respiratory failure since 1974. All studies with the prone position document an improvement in systemic oxygenation in 70% to 80% of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), with maximal improvement seen in the most hypoxemic patients. This article reviews data regarding efficacy for use of the prone position in patients with ARDS. Also described is a simple, safe, quick, and inexpensive procedure used to prone patients with severe ARDS on a standard bed in the intensive care unit at the University of Michigan.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Critical Care / methods
  • Humans
  • Patient Positioning / adverse effects
  • Patient Positioning / instrumentation
  • Patient Positioning / methods*
  • Prone Position
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange / physiology
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / therapy*