This is with reference to the article titled “Does Proning help improve O2 Covid patients?” published in the Indian Express dt 06.07.2020 (Madurai Edition). The picture shows the patient lying flat on his stomach and chest. This makes the patient feel uncomfortable because it puts extra pressure on the organs in the stomach and chest region. A better posture would be to lie on one side, with one leg straight, and the other leg bent in an L-shape, perhaps resting on a pillow on the side, and without exerting too much pressure on the stomach.
For easier breathing, we need to allow free movement of gases / air inside our body. When we use only the nostrils for entry and exit of air/gases, it becomes difficult for aged persons and patients to breathe. (‘Pranayamam’ recognizes this fact by using one nostril for inhaling and the other for exhaling, alternately). But natural processes like speaking, singing, chanting God’s names, walking (and even farting) give us alternative routes for exit of excess/ unwanted gases, providing enough space in our body for inhalation of fresh air. (That is how walking becomes important for heart / diabetes patients). Even crying out in pain can give temporary relief to the patient.
When a patient finds it difficult to breathe normally, he can surely resort to proning; while sitting or standing, he can have one foot on the floor and the other on a foot rest, say 1’ to 2’ high. He should visit the toilet without any inhibitions even if he is confined in a crowded ward. While breathing he can use his mouth for exhaling and keep the mouth closed while inhaling. Speaking, singing, walking etc., should be encouraged, without causing disturbance to other patients.
These tips might prove useful in treating not only Covid-19 patients but also others like heart and diabetes patients, and many such people who might have breathing difficulties.