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The "proning" setup — in which patients turn over onto their stomach or onto their side while lying down — could be a noninvasive way to help delay or eliminate the need for ventilation in COVID-19 patients.

Flipping the Odds: Turning Patients Prone Helps Fight COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A new analysis suggests there may be a simple, noninvasive technique that could delay, or even eliminate, the need for ventilation in COVID-19 patients.

It's called "proning." And it appears to be remarkably effective at boosting "blood oxygen saturation" levels, often called sats, among COVID patients struggling with abnormally low levels (known as hypoxia).

"Proning is basically having patients turn over onto their stomach or onto their side while lying down," explained study author Dr. Nicholas Caputo. He's the associate chief at New York City Health and Hospitals/Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center's department of emergency medicine.

How does it work? Gravity, says Caputo. "It makes sense anatomically," he noted, "because when your body is parallel to the ground all the organs lay off of it like on a clothes line. So, by flipping over or to your side you open up the areas, like your lungs, that would otherwise be compressed when you're on your back."

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