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When and Why It is Important to Lie in a Prone Position – Especially in the age of COVID-19

A prone position is a form in which a person rests horizontally on the chest and stomach. In this position the heart and abdominal organs no longer press on the lungs so that dependent lung fields can function better providing more space for air to flow freer in the lungs.

Pregnancy and Proning

In a proning position, uterine compression of the great abdominal vessels is almost wholly alleviated with a simultaneous reduction in abdominal vascular resistance and increased gastric blood flow. The prone position helps reduce systolic blood pressure in women with preeclampsia. This is beneficial in conditions like high blood pressure and gastrointestinal reflux in pregnant women.

With appropriate support, the proning is a safe position for pregnant women to use for relaxation and massage in pregnancy. However, to lie in a prone position a pregnant woman needs support. The EarthLite Pregnancy Prone Comfort Bolster and Headrest is a proning mattress that makes this resting position much more convenient and comfortable. It has belly and breast recesses that are supportive, and Dacron padded.  The comfortable face rest permits the pregnant woman to rest completely and breathe freely.

COVID-19 and Proning

The proning position is also used in critically ill patients with respiratory illnesses, like the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as it helps them avoid intubation and ventilation. This position has been used increasingly in the treatment of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and is considered a simple and safe method to improve oxygenation in up to 70% of patients.  It allows caregivers to maximize mobilization of secretions in the respiratory tract and improve the ventilation-perfusion ratio hence minimizing the risk of acute respiratory failure in patients suffering from COVID-19 coronavirus.

To perform CPR quickly, a proning mattress allows caregivers to supine patients in less than a minute. Currently, the time for proning ranges from 4 to 6 hours daily.

Proning is comparatively easy for thinner patients, although it is not pleasant on a standard stretcher mattress. Many obese patients cannot tolerate proning, due to difficulty breathing (from their belly touching on their chest expansion) or from the discomfort of the back.

EarthLite Pregnancy Prone Comfort Bolster and Headrest is a proning mattress that makes this resting position much more convenient and comfortable - even if a person is obese. It is not just another medical device but rather an integrated mattress with adequate support for pregnant and critically ill patients, especially proning in Coronavirus patients. The mattress is constructed with commercial-grade CFC-free urethane foam and fully upholstered with water and fluid resistant Natursoft™ 100% PU upholstery. It is easily cleaned with disinfecting wipes.

Other Benefits of a Proning Mattress

Reduces pressure ulcer development

The EarthLite Pregnancy Prone Comfort Bolster also reduces the risk of skin breakdown and pressure ulcer development, and it can off-load pressure when the patient is placed in a prone position.

Low rates of atelectasis

Displacing abdominal contents downward lets the lungs expand more, improving oxygenation and reducing the risk of atelectasis. The prone position also helps fluid and secretions drain from major airways, improving airway patency.

Improved perfusion

A more uniform distribution of perfusion across dependent and nondependent lung areas improves lung function and oxygenation. Improved ventilation. This benefit is believed to occur from more significant negative pleural pressures, leading to recruitment (reopening) of collapsed or injured alveoli.

In Conclusion

Although proning is a simple concept, without a proning mattress it can be complicated and risky when putting into practice. The EarthLite Pregnancy Prone Comfort Bolster, provides a safe noninvasive way to improve oxygenation in patients with acute respiratory distress and in those at risk for it.  It also provides superior support for a pregnant woman needing a massage and relaxation.  Visit Ariachairs.com and order your today.