New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the reports of acute oxygen shortage in hospitals across the country and COVID positive patients dying due to the lesser oxygen supply, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW)on Friday released a set of guidelines, which according to the ministry, will improve the breathing process and will also 'aid you in breathing better' during the coronavirus pandemic.

The country is reeling under the cascading effect of COVID-19 with the daily infections reaching 3.30 lakh, while the daily death toll stood at 2,300 deaths. For the last 2 days, India has reported over 3 lakh new COVID cases and left behind the USA in daily infections. As the cases rise and people rushing to hospitals, the health infrastructure is under a crisis with a shortage of essential drugs like Remdesivir and oxygen supply. However, the Central government is trying to improve the oxygen supply in hospitals.

In the latest guidelines issued by the Health Ministry, the experts have emphasised using prone positioning to manage blood oxygen levels. Proning involves lying face-down position, with the chest raised and practising rapid breathing. The method is also called ‘prone ventilator method’ and improve breathing comfort and oxygenation. COVID positive patients having problems in breathing are advised to practice this method to improve breathing.

What is proning and how it helps?

The ministry, in a document, said proning is the process of turning a patient with precise, safe motions, from their back onto their abdomen so that the individual is lying face down. "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,"

Listing the importance of prone lying, the ministry said prone positioning improves ventilation, keeps alveolar units open and breathing easy. "Proning is required only when the patient feels difficulty in breathing and the SpO2 decreases below 94. Regular monitoring of SpO2, along with other signs like temperature, blood pressure and blood sugar, is important during home isolation.

How to perform self proning?

Positioning of Pillows:

One pillow below the neck

One or two pillows below the chest through upper thigs

Two pillows below the shins

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

How to perform proning with help of others if you are not able to perform self-proning?

Pull the patient to one side of the bed using a flat sheet

Place the flat sheet around the arm that will pull through

A second flat sheet is placed on the bed and tucked under the patient. This sheet will pull through as you are turning the patient

Using the sheet, turn the patient over and position the patient prone. The arm and sheet will pull across the bed.

Pull and centre the patient. Discard the sheet that was used to place the patient in the supine position. Straighten lines and tubes.

When to avoid proning?

During pregnancy

Deep venous thrombosis

Major cardiac conditions

Unstable spine, femur or pelvic fractures

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan