PRONING is the process of turning a patient with precise safe motions, from their back onto their abdomen (stomach), so the individual is lying face down.
According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 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.
What is Proning self-care process?
Dr. Amit Gupta, Senior Plastic Surgeon, Founder, Director, Divine Cosmetic Surgery, Specialized in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery with fellowships from Brazil and Belgium explained, “The process of prone positioning is to make a patient lie down on his stomach facing down. This process is scientifically proven to improve the way a patient breathes and better oxygen flows into the blood. It has been seen to improve oxygen saturation in both home-based patients as well as intensive care patients.
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) April 22, 2021
What is the importance of prone lying?
According to Dr. Gupta, the process allows:
- Better breathing ability
- Oxygen flow improves
- Better oxygen concentration in blood
- More oxygen reaching organs
- Less labor of breathing allowing
- Recruitment of posterior lobes of the lung, allowing better oxygenation explain the process and how does it help in fighting the Covid 19 virus.
“The process of prone positioning allows the patient to control their oxygenation better and to reduce the rate of fall of oxygen saturation in the blood. When the patient who is suffering from covid has deterioration in the condition then the body oxygen saturation starts to fall down. If it reaches below 90 then there is a case for telling the patient to lie prone and breathe in that scenario and immediately it is seen that the saturation starts to improve”, says Dr. Gupta.
Dr. Gupta further said, “This position helps the patient to cope with the saturation better so that he can avoid going to Intensive Care unless the situation really deteriorates. It has been seen that in many patients the oxygen saturation can rise to such good levels that hospitalization can also be avoided.”
What are the cautions we need to follow while following this?
- It is essential that the patient does not have any neck injury or neck stiffness or seizure disorder or any injury of the abdomen or back. He should be mentally alert.
- “It is important to do frequent posture changes. For example, you can lie prone for two hours and then shift to a lateral position or straight position for another 30 minutes to 2 hours and then turn back into a prone position”, says Dr. Gupta.