Immediate Effect of Breathing Exercises and Prone Lying on Saturation of Peripheral Oxygen (SpO2 ) in Covid Patients – A Pilot Study
Keywords:Covid-19; Prone lying; Physiotherapy; Breathing exercises; Rehabilitation; Covid-19 management; Oxygen saturation (SpO2 )
Background and Objective: Coronavirus disease 2019, also known as Covid-19, is an infectious disease.
It is caused by a novel virus from the family of Coronaviridae, called the SARS-CoV-2 virus. According
to studies, the possible modes of transmission include contact, droplet, airborne, fomite, feco-oral, bloodborne, mother-to-child, and animal-to-human.1
It has been reported that the crude mortality ratio is between
The clinical management of Covid-19 is dependent on the severity of the disease. It may vary from
symptomatic management to supplementary oxygen and ventilation.3
Review of literature has shown that
physiotherapy interventions like breathing exercises, positioning, range of motion exercises, respiratory
hygiene, etc. help in reducing morbidity and mortality in these patients.4
The objective of this study was to identify the immediate effects of breathing exercises and prone lying on
the Saturation of Peripheral Oxygen (SpO2
) in Covid patients.
Method: 5 out of the 10 patients randomly selected from the Covid ward of the institute agreed to participate
in the study. They were asked to perform a set of breathing exercises, thoracic mobility exercises, and prone
lying. The SpO2 levels of these participants were monitored and recorded at regular intervals.
Result: The SpO2 levels of all 5 participants significantly improved post-physiotherapy intervention
irrespective of age and gender. Only breathing exercises did not show major difference in the SpO2 level of
the participants, but when it was combined with prone lying, the SpO2
levels significantly improved. It was
also noted that SpO2 levels 30 minutes post prone lying and 60 minutes post prone lying were the same.
Conclusion: Breathing exercises and prone lying are simple and effective ways to improve the SpO2 levels
in the Covid-19 patients. These two interventions done together, under supervision improved the SpO2 levels
significantly. The results suggest that prone lying after 30 minutes did not further improve the SpO2
significantly. Thus, we would like to suggest inclusion of prone lying in the management of Covid for short
durations and multiple repetitions throughout the day for better rehabilitation outcomes.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.