Health Ministry suggests 'proning' for isolating COVID-19 patients; here's all you need to know!

This is a position that can aid COVID-19 patients to breathe better, in case they require instant oxygen.

Due to the steep spike noticed in the coronavirus graph of India, there is an acute crunch in the availability of hospital beds, ventilators, medical-grade oxygen and other necessary amenities. Holding this deficiency in the country's medical and health infrastructure in view, the central government has released a detailed document about 'proning'. This position can aid COVID-19 patients to breathe better, in case they require instant oxygen.

What is proning?

Proning is a medically accepted position, recommended for COVID-19 patients under home isolation but with compromised breathing abilities. This position helps improve breathing comfort and oxygenation amid COVID-19 victims, as per data. However, those with a heart condition, pregnant or with unstable spine or pelvic fractures should avoid it, the guidelines read. It is also not to be performed after meals.

How to carry out proning?

This process involves (if the oxygen level is low) turning the patient with precise, safe motions from their back onto their abdomen (stomach) so that they can lie face down. To begin the procedure, a pillow has to be kept below the neck, while one or two can be placed below the chest till the upper thighs and two pillows can be placed below the shins. One may prone for up to 16 hours a day, in multiple cycles.

The experts note that the position allows for better expansion of the dorsal (back) lung regions, improved body movement and enhanced removal of secretions, which may ultimately lead to advances in oxygenation (breathing). Doctors have further advised patients to self-monitor their oxygen levels, to understand whether there is a need for hospitalisation.

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