Coronavirus latest: Breakthrough for patients starved of oxygen

Proning is widely used for patients on mechanical ventilation, and doctors in Italy, the US and Portugal have found it can improve chances of survival in COVID-19 sufferers. New guidelines from the Intensive Care Society say proning should be used on all suitable patients, whether they are intubated or not.

The advice says: “It is a simple intervention that can be done in most circumstances, is compatible with all forms of basic respiratory support, and requires little or no equipment.”

Nick Scriven, of the Society for Acute Medicine, said his hospital was proning conscious patients “with good results”.

It appeared to give them a better chance of avoiding admission to intensive care or needing ventilation.

He said: “We have been doing it for about two weeks. It came out on social media at first and now it is in guidance.”

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