How to do self-proning to improve oxygen levels? Here’s a step-by-step guide


COVID-19 patients are required to keep a check on their oxygen saturation frequently. If the saturation goes below 94 per cent, one should try ‘proning’ (lying on your belly), advise medical experts, to improve oxygen levels.

The Health Ministry recently shared a step-by-step guide for proning, a medically accepted position to improve breathing comfort and oxygen, and therefore beneficial for COVID-19 patients.

Those in home isolation should keep these things in mind before they go for self-proning:

For this, you need pillows — one should be below the neck, one or two below the chest through the upper thighs and two pillows below the shins, according to the Health Ministry.

Following are the positions for self-proning; it is recommended that one should not spend more than 30 minutes in each position:

*Start with lying on your belly
*Lying on your right side
*Sitting up with your legs extended in front of you
*Lying on the left side
*Go back to lying on your belly

Dos and don’ts for proning

*Avoid proning for an hour after meals
*Maintain proning for only as many 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

Who should avoid proning?

Proning should be avoided in conditions like:

*Pregnancy
*Deep venous thrombosis (treated in less than 48 hours)
*Major cardiac conditions
*Unstable spine, femur, or pelvic fractures

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