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A semirecumbent body position led to a lower rate of nosocomial pneumonia than a supine position in mechanically ventilated adults

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QUESTION: In patients who are intubated and mechanically ventilated, is a semirecumbent body position more effective than a supine body position for reducing the incidence of nosocomial pneumonia?


Randomised (allocation concealed), unblinded, controlled trial with follow up for 72 hours after extubation. An interim analysis was planned.


2 intensive care units (ICUs) of a 1000 bed, tertiary care, university hospital in Spain.


90 patients (mean age 65 y, 76% men) in the ICU who had been intubated and mechanically ventilated. Exclusion criteria were recent abdominal surgery or neurosurgery, shock refractory to vasoactive drugs or volume therapy, or previous endotracheal intubation. 96% …

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  • Sources of funding: Commisionat per a Universitats i Recerca de la Generalitat de Catalunya 1997 Suport dels Grups de Recerca; Fundació Clinic; Comissió Interdepartamental de Recerca i Innovació Tecnológica; IDIBAPS; and European Respiratory Society.

  • For correspondence: Dr A Torres, Hospital Clinic i Provincial, Servei de Pneumologia i Al.lèrgia Respiratoria, Villarroel, 170, E-08036 Barcelona, Spain. Fax +34 93 227 5454.

  • A modified version of this abstract appears in ACP Journal Club.