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Background: Airway care interventions and prone positioning are used in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) to improve oxygenation and facilitate mucus removal. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision-making process regarding the practice of airway care interventions and prone positioning was challenging. Objective: To provide an overview of the practice of airway care interventions and prone positioning during the second wave of the pandemic in the Netherlands. Method: Web-based survey design. Seventy ICU nurses, each representing one intensive care in the Netherlands, were contacted for participation. Potential items were generated based on a literature search and formulated by a multidisciplinary team. Questions were pilot tested for face and construct validity by four intensive care nurses from four different hospitals. Results: The response rate was 53/77 (69%). This survey revealed widespread use of airway care interventions in the Netherlands in COVID-19 patients, despite questionable benefits. Additionally, prone positioning was used in invasively and non-invasively ventilated patients. Conclusions: The use of airway care interventions and prone positioning is time consuming and comes with the production of waste. Further research is needed to assess the effectiveness, workload, and environmental impact of airway care interventions and prone positioning.

Original publication




Journal article


J Clin Med

Publication Date





COVID-19, airway care interventions, invasively ventilated patients, prone positioning