The current treatment
The current treatment for ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) is to provide mechanical respiration with a ventilator while the patient is prone for sixteen to eighteen hours per day. (In prone, the weight of the heart is not bearing on the lungs, and the abdominal organs are not imposing on the aorta. Also, patient hemodynamics are improved; blood pressure and heart rate are lowered, and oxygenation of blood increases).
Problems with current treatment
The current practice of ventilating ARDS patients prone on a standard hospital bed can result in several well-documented issues and negative consequences. The dislocation and kinking of tubes, hoses, and catheters, decubitus ulcers (bed sores), general patient discomfort, and post-treatment recovery from positioning induced injury.