With the Covid-19 second wave hitting the nation, resulting in unprecedented oxygen crunch and fatal consequences, ‘proning’ technique has been advocated as a medically accepted way to enhance oxygenation in the body.
At a time when mere breathing has posed a huge challenge, this directive comes as a fresh recourse for Covid-19 treatment to be practiced by both people who are at home isolation/self-care treatment as well as those in the hospital. If oxygen saturation is found to drop below 92, proning done on a routine basis will ensure improved ventilation to the lungs.
So, if you are wondering what exactly is proning, then please note that:
Proning is a way of positioning the body by lying flat on the stomach (back up, face, chest down). This posture is of paramount significance for Covid-19 positive people with weakened oxygen levels.
In the 1970s, the concept of proning (meaning ‘lying face-down’) was introduced for the first time to better gas exchange in ARDS patients.
It has been reported that proning has brought about significant increase in oxygen levels in the bodies of patients struggling with compromised oxygenation.
How to do proning to get desired results in Covid-19 patients?
Proning requires you to lie down in 3 positions alternately in a synchronized manner in the following order:
- Lying on the belly
- Lying laterally (sideways) on the right
- Lying laterally (sideways) on the left
Doctors advise to remain in each prone position for not more than 30 minutes. It is best to perform proning under expert’s supervision for those with existing back and neck ailments.
You need to use 4-5 pillows to ensure relaxed breathing during the proning:
- 1 pillow below the neck
- 1-2 pillows below chest and upper thighs
- 2 pillows below the shin
How can proning help COVID-19 patients breathe easy?
While a Covid-19 patient is made to lie down in prone position:
- the lung (dorsal region) expands, allows improved ventilation to the lungs
- opens up the alveoli units (tiny air sacs at the end of bronchioles)
- lessens body weight on the diaphragm, lungs
- enhances draining of lung fluids or secretions that might have been obstructed, earlier
- enhances the effectiveness of the right ventricle of heart that pumps blood through lungs
All of the above-mentioned conditions make the physical movement conducive for improved, easy oxygenation; thereby increasing the oxygen levels, reducing the difficulty in breathing in Covid-19 patients.
So, proning is highly recommended as it helps COVID-19 patients breathe easy.