COVID-19 (Awake Self-Proning)

There is increasing evidence that Awake Self-Proning of our Covid-19 patients can improve oxygenation. Proning the patient can has several effects which can dramatically improve their SaO2

  • Improves Ventilation to back of the lung (the back of the lung contains more alveoli than the anterior lung)
  • Improves Perfusion – as blood supply to the back of the lung is always better than the front
  • Improves Clearance of secretions
  • Be patient can take 15-20min

Contraindications (all seem obvious)

Absolute contraindications:

  • Respiratory distress (RR ≥ 35, PaCO2 ≥ 6.5, accessory muscle use) 
  • Immediate need for intubation 
  • Haemodynamic instability (SBP < 90mmHg) or arrhythmia 
  • Agitation or altered mental status 
  • Unstable spine/thoracic injury/recent abdominal surgery 

Relative Contraindications: 

  • Facial injury 
  • Neurological issues (e.g. frequent seizures) 
  • Morbid obesity 
  • Pregnancy (2/3rd trimesters) 
  • Pressure sores / ulcers 


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