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Home Health COVID 19: Does lying on your stomach or prone position help improve...

COVID 19: Does lying on your stomach or prone position help improve oxygen levels? | Health News

New Delhi: Amidst the rising cases of coronavirus in the country and reports of acute shortage of oxygen cylinders is sending people into a tizzy. A lot of posts on social media are sharing tips and hacks to manage the virus while home quarantining.

One such hack that is doing the rounds on the internet is to lie down in a prone position or to lie down on your stomach with your chest expanded to increase your oxygen levels.

This hack is said to be effective and has been used by doctors for a long time while treating patients with Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

In a study called  ‘Effect of Prone Positioning on the Survival of Patients with Acute Respiratory Failure’ published in New England Journal of Medicine showed that the oxygen levels in patients with ARDS improved while they were in a prone position as compared to the supine position.

“During the study period the mean increase in the ratio of the partial pressure of arterial oxygen to the fraction of inspired oxygen, measured each morning while patients were supine, was greater in the prone than the supine group. The incidence of complications related to positioning (such as pressure sores and accidental extubation) was similar in the two groups,” claimed the study.

However we do not know if proning can actually save a patient’s life who is severely affected by COVID-19.

Talking to the Indian Express,  Dr Jyoti Mutta, senior consultant, microbiology, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute said, “Prone position meaning lying on your stomach and deep breathing can help improve oxygenation in patients with Covid-related pneumonia but it remains to be seen how long does the effect of proning last or does proning prevent the need for intubation or merely delay it.”

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