Proning Positions & How it Can Help Covid-19 Patients

With the continuous rise of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia, many patients are observing quarantine or treatment at home and would benefit from knowing about the proning technique. The proning technique is a series of positions that have been observed to be useful in the event of mild oxygen deprivation. 

First, What is Proning?

Proning is a medically approved method of increasing oxygen supply to patients who are mildly oxygen deprived. In a healthcare facility, this involves a number of people to manually turn a patient to their side then on their stomach using safe, precise and calculated movements. At home, proning can be done by the patient themselves by getting into 3 specific positions for a duration of 30 minutes per position. 

How Do Proning Positions Help Covid-19 Patients? 

The specific positions and consistency in changing positions helps expand the back of the lungs to improve oxygenation and breathing. It’s been noted by Lenore Reily, nurse manager of the CCU in JFK Medical Center that this method has shown evidential improvements in patients with mild respiratory disease; they are patients who may have lowered oxygen levels but do not require ventilator assistance. 

However, it’s important to note that “there is not enough evidence at this time to prove that proning alleviates patients needing ventilators,” Lenore says. “What we can see, though, is that oxygenation is temporarily improved. This is why proning has become part of the plan of care during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

When Do I Use the Proning Method? 

If it’s been verified that a Covid-19 patient has a Sp02 reading that falls below 95% and can’t get immediate medical assistance, use the proning positions until professional help is available. Oxygen levels can be monitored by looking at the Sp02 reading on an oximeter. 

What is Sp02?

According to HomeCare, SpO2, also known as oxygen saturation, is a measure of the amount of oxygen-carrying hemoglobin in the blood relative to the amount of hemoglobin not carrying oxygen. The body needs to have a certain level of oxygen in the blood or it will not function as efficiently.

The 3 Proning Positions 

 Position 1: Lay on your stomach 

Lay on your stomach. 

Place a pillow under your neck, under your pelvis and under your ankles.

Change positions after 30 minutes.

source: IG

Position 2: Lay on your right

Lay on your right side.

Place a pillow under your head, under your waist and between your knees.

Change positions after 30 minutes.

source: IG

Position 3: Sitting up 

Sit on your bed or the floor.

Stack 3 pillows and lean against it at a slanted position. 

source: IG

Additionally, it’s important to remember that proning is just a suggestion to increase oxygen levels while waiting for medical assistance. It’s not a definite treatment for Covid-19 patients and it’s recommended that you get in touch with the nearest clinic or hospital if you need assistance. 

If you found this article helpful, share it with your friends and family. As we learn together, we can overcome this pandemic together. Stay home, stay safe.


  1. Hackensackmeridianhealth.org
  2. homecaremag.com

The information contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as advice on any matter. Etiqa accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from reliance on information contained in the article.