Head of bed (HOB) elevation has been shown to reduce incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in mechanically ventilated patients. AACN and ATS recommend HOB elevation of at least 30°. The authors of this study measured the relationship between HOB elevation and actual patient position to determine the impact of patient migration. Using motion capture methods on ten healthy participants in a lab setting, the authors were able to quantitatively determine this relationship with a linear regression. The authors conclude that patient migration results in lower HOB elevations. They further state that clinicians should consider protocols and equipment that minimize patient migration in order to help maintain guidelines recommended HOB elevations designed to protect patients from VAP.
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