BENGALURU: People should be aware of how one can manage a situation when oxygen levels are fluctuating or are at a constant low and getting medical attention or oxygen supply immediately is not a possibility. Sadly, there are not many approaches that can be used to handle such a situation. However, one can rely on proning. Proning is the process of making a patient be in a posture where they are lying face down, on their abdomen or stomach. This position has been medically proven to improve breathing comfort and oxygenation, as it helps keep the alveolar units open.
This measure can be adopted when the patient faces difficulty in breathing and the SpO2 level (oxygen saturation level) is under 94. It is important to avoid proning at least for an hour after having a meal. While proning, if your body experiences discomfort, it is advised to stop the process immediately. A patient can prone up to 16 hours a day in multiple cycles, but it is critical to keep track of any sores or injuries especially around bony areas. Proning has proven to be useful for patients in home isolation and has helped patients in ICU and on ventilator.
Not considering wearing masks at home?
The present situation is very dangerous with a high number of positive cases being recorded every day. Especially in a pandemic, wearing masks at home is a very effective method. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States’ national public health agency, also recommends the same. Even if no family member is suffering from Covid, wearing masks at home can prove to be beneficial as there might be asymptomatic carriers who will spread infection.
In some cases, people might be Covid affected but they tend to show symptoms only after 2-3 days, this period is when the virus load is high, and they could be spreading the infection to the people in contact with them. Wearing masks is an effective way to prevent the virus from affecting you. Several studies and research done in laboratories have proved how masks are beneficial to stop the virus from spreading. Dr Vivekanand Padegal is Director - Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road. Dr K S Satish is Senior Consultant - Pulmonology and Chest Medicine, Fortis Hospitals, Cunningham Road