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

L. Gentilello, D. A. Thompson, A. S. Tonnesen, D. Hernandez, A. S. Kapadia, S. J. Allen, B. A. Houtchens, M. E. Miner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


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 < .01). Atelectasis, pneumonia, adult respiratory distress syndrome, requirements for ventilator treatment, for PEEP, and for an FIO2 > 0.50 were not significantly different, but tended to be higher in the control group. Survival and the incidence of decubitus ulcers were similar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)783-786
Number of pages4
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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