Pulmonary complications remain common in critically ill patients and are especially prevalent in patients who are intubated and receiving mechanical ventilation. These complications include hypoxia, atelectasis, and hospital-acquired infections. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement11 has reported that ventilator-associated pneumonia is one of the most frequent causes of increased hospital morbidity and mortality. To prevent these complications of therapy, nurses have traditionally turned patients from side to side every 2 hours. However, this type of manual turning has not been reported to have a significant effect on pulmonary function.22 

Continuous lateral rotation therapy (CLRT), an integral part of progressive mobility, came into use in the 1970s in an effort to reduce pulmonary complications of immobility. Lateral rotation therapies were delivered via continuous-motion bed frames that rotated the patient from side to side. Known by many different names, lateral rotation has...

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