Know about Proning & how it helps Covid Patients to improve Oxygenation


TNI Bureau:   Over the past couple of months, the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic has swept the entire Country.  Several States are not able to prove adequate healthcare facilities to the COVID patients due shortage of medical bed, oxygen, vaccines, drugs and other equipments. But, the major disaster is that many have lost their lives due to acute shortage of oxygen. At this critical juncture, doctors have been recommending to manage some COVID-19 symptoms at home.

The Union Health Ministry has advised and issued guidelines on the process of proning for self care for COVID-19 patients at home in India.

What is proning?
“Proning is a medically accepted position to improve breathing comfort and oxygenation. It is extremely beneficial in COVID-19 patients with compromised breathing comfort, especially during home isolation. If a person suffers from respiratory distress, they should be turned with precise, safe motions from their back onto their abdomen (stomach), so that they are lying face down,” explains the guideline from the Ministry of Health.

Importance of Proning:
“Proning is required only when the patient feels difficulty in breathing and the SpO2 decreases below 94 (less than 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 (comprised Oxygen circulation) may lead to worsening of complications. Timely proning and maintaining good ventilation could save many lives” the document said.

Process of self-proning:
The Health Ministry also pointed out the process of self-proning at home. The patient needs 4-5 pillows, one pillow has to be placed below the neck, one or two can be placed below the chest through upper thighs and two other pillows should be placed below the shins. The patient needs to change their lying position every 30 minutes in one position.

Avoid Proning:
According to the document, pregnant women, people suffering from deep venous thrombosis, major cardiac conditions and spine, femur or pelvic fractures should strictly avoid practising prone position.

The Ministry, however, cautioned to avoid proning for an hour after meals and maintaining it for only as much times as easily tolerable. 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, it said.

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Know about Proning & how it helps Covid Patients to improve Oxygenation

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