By: Archana Naresh
April 29 2021
Proning has proven to elevate the oxygen saturation levels of an individual by up to 10% within five minutes of taking up the prone position.
Proning has proven to elevate the oxygen saturation levels of an individual by up to 10% within five minutes of taking up the prone position.As the number of COVID-19 cases increases, with many being admitted to hospitals due to breathlessness, social media users are posting videos on improving oxygen levels by practicing prone position. Proning is the process of a person lying flat with the chest down and the back facing upwards and having regular alterations in the lying position that is left and right. The medical community has widely accepted the method and has been shown to improve oxygenation in patients, especially those who suffer from acute respiratory disease syndrome (ARDS). In the wake of the Covid outbreak, this technique has gained more acceptance. A 2020 study published by The Lancet reveals that the prone position helps in improving oxygen flow in non-intubated COVID-19 patients. It states that prone positioning was feasible and effective in rapidly increasing blood oxygenation in awake patients with COVID-19 related pneumonia requiring oxygen supplementation. An NCBI study also noted that "several studies show that awake proning improves oxygen saturation in merely five minutes of hospitalization." It also mentions a study done in New York that found self-proning to be effective as breathing cycles started showing improvements after five minutes of assuming a prone position while being awake. It noted that the oxygen saturation raised to 94 percent from 80 percent after five minutes of lying in the prone position. However, according to a 2002 study published in the European Respiratory Journal, proning is beneficial for patients suffering from low oxygen, but mortality remained high despite hospitalization and mechanical ventilation.