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Crit Care Med. 1988 Aug;16(8):783-6.

Effect of a rotating bed on the incidence of pulmonary complications in critically ill patients.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston 77030.


The risk of nosocomial pneumonia and atelectasis is high among critically ill immobilized patients. We hypothesized that continuous turning on the kinetic treatment table would reduce their incidence. Sixty-five critically ill patients, immobilized because of head injury or traction, were prospectively randomized for treatment in a conventional bed (n = 38) or the kinetic treatment table (n = 27). Patients were well matched for baseline demographic and pulmonary risk factors. Patients in the conventional bed group had a higher incidence of cigarette smoking. The combined incidence of significant atelectasis or pneumonia was higher (66%) in the conventional vs. kinetic treatment table (33%) groups (p less than .01). Atelectasis, pneumonia, adult respiratory distress syndrome, requirements for ventilator treatment, for PEEP, and for an FIO2 greater than 0.50 were not significantly different, but tended to be higher in the control group. Survival and the incidence of decubitus ulcers were similar.

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