Breathing issues during covid-19 home isolation? Try lying prone
The Union health ministry has advised lying on the stomach, or the prone position, to people suffering from covid-19 and in home isolation.
NEW DELHI: The Union health ministry has advised lying on the stomach, or the prone position, to people suffering from covid-19 and in home isolation.
Pronning is the process of turning a patient with precise, safe motions, from their back onto their abdomen (stomach), so that the person is lying face down. This position helps with breathing and oxygenation and is medically proven.
Prone positioning improves ventilation
The government said the prone positioning improves ventilation, keeps alveolar units open, making breathing easy. It is required only when a patient feels difficulty in breathing and the SpO2 fall below 94. Regular monitoring of SpO2, along with other signs like temperature, blood pressure and blood sugar, is important during home isolation. Missing out on hypoxia (compromised oxygen circulation) may lead to worsening of complications. Timely pronning and maintaining good ventilation could save many lives, the document reads.
The advisory also suggested placing one pillow under the neck, one or two pillows under the chest through upper thighs and two under the shins. Regular alterations in lying position is best and recommended not spending more than 30 minutes in one position, the document said.
The ministry warned against trying the position an hour after meals. "One may prone for up to 16 hours a day, in multiple cycles, as felt comfortable. Pillows may be adjusted slightly to alter pressure areas and for comfort. Keep a track of any pressure sores or injuries, especially, around bony prominences," as per the health ministry document.
The government warned that pregnant women should not resort to lying on the stomach, and also those suffering from deep venous thrombosis, major cardiac conditions, unstable spine, femur, or pelvic fractures.
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