Does Lying In ‘Prone Position’ Improve Oxygen Levels

Lying in Prone position has been used for years to treat patients suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and those who find it a challenge to breathe on their own.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to people using proning when not incubated to improve their oxygen levels by sleeping on their belly.

Proning is a well-established scientific strategy that increase the functional residual capacity, improves secretion clearance and leads to oxygenation improvement.


Guidelines to Sleeping in Prone Position

Here are some tips that might help you avoid the potential complications if you are sleeping on your stomach:

  • Use a thin pillow or no pillow at all. The flatter the pillow, the less angled your head and neck.
  • Put a pillow under your pelvis. This will help keep your back in a more neutral position and take pressure off your spine.
  • Stretch in the morning. A few minutes of stretching will help get your body back in alignment and gently strengthen supporting muscles. Be sure to warm up with a little movement before stretching, and be gentle!

As indicated by Dr Jyoti Mutta, senior consultant, microbiology, “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.”

Note: Please try to not spend a lot of time lying flat on your back. Lying on your stomach and in different positions will help your body to get air into all areas of your lungs.

Use prone positioning only if you are able to safely get in and out of this position on your own and can remain comfortable.

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The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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