While there are no known treatments yet uncovered for the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), one approach in helping patients who are experiencing respiratory distress has been pronation, or laying the patient on their stomach.
“We have been using pronation for the past weeks, and we have seen improvement in patients’ blood levels of oxygen,” Jorge M. Mercado, MD, associate section chief of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, tells People. He adds that it has worked both with patients who are on ventilators and those without them.
Dr. Mercado says that putting patients into pronation “recruits other parts of the lung that were not being used effectively, and therefore improves oxygenation.”
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