How to increase oxygen level at home while waiting for help

How to increase oxygen level at home- In the latest Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Covid-19 released by AIIMS Patna, doctors have stressed that proning can help manage blood oxygen levels. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Government of India also shared self-care prone techniques.

The coronavirus crisis is at its peak in India. With record surging cases, the city-to-city oxygen crisis has arisen. There has been an outcry across the country. The new strain of COVID-19 is to be blamed for this. As reported, it is quite dangerous and this time the symptoms of the deadly virus are visible after 25% of the lungs are damaged which results in troubled breathing. 

It is being observed that a high percentage of patients are having difficulty in breathing and their oxygen level is decreasing rapidly. Within 2 to 3 days it reaches below 80 and in such a situation, immediate oxygen supply is required. If oxygen is not available during this period, the situation becomes very serious for the patient.

With an increased demand for oxygen supply, it is important to see that such a situation can be averted. In the latest Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Covid-19 released by AIIMS Patna, doctors have stressed that proning can help manage blood oxygen levels. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Government of India also shared a guide on proning self-care techniques. Here are FAQ and techniques of proning:

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 improves breathing comfort and oxygenation. It is extremely beneficial in COVID-19 patients with compromised breathing comfort, especially during home isolation.

Why is prone lying important?
  • 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
How to self prone?

For self-proning, you will need 4-5 pillows. You will be required to alterate lying position regularly and it is best is to not spend more than 30 minutes in each position.

India Tv - Body positions to improve oxygen levels
Cautions while proning
  • Avoid proning for an hour after meals
  • Maintain proning for only as much time 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
  • Proning should be avoided in pregnancy, Deep venous thrombosis (Treated in less than 48 hours), major cardiac conditions, and patients with unstable spine, femur, or pelvic fractures

Disclaimer: This content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. For more information, please consult a doctor.

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