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COVID-19 Proning for Self care

What is proning

  • 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.
  • 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. 

Importance of Prone lying

  • 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 (less than 94).
  • Regular monitoring of SpO2, along with other signs like temperature, blood pressure and blood sugar, is important during home isolation.
  • Missing out on hypoxia (compromised Oxygen circulation) may lead to worsening of complications.
  • Timely proning and maintaining good ventilation could save many lives.

Positioning of Pillow

  • One pillow below the neck
  • One or two pillows below the chest through upper thighs
  • Two pillows below the shins

For Self-Proning

  • You will need 4-5 Pillows.
  • Regular alterations in lying position
  • Best is to not spend more than 30 minutes in each position

Caution:

  • Avoid proning for an hour after meals
  • Maintain proning for only as much 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

Avoid Proning in conditions like

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

Non-self pronating patients (in emergency)

Five-step method to place a patient in the prone position using a regular bed, flat sheet, and family members

  • Using a flat sheet, pull the patient to one side of the bed.
  • Place the flat sheet around the arm that will pull through (the side you are turning toward).
  • 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 center the patient. Discard the sheet that was used to place the patient in the supine position. Straighten lines and tubes.

Source : Ministry of Health & Family Welfare 



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