Area hospital practices 'proning' on patients, including COVID-19 patient

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)-- It's a simple thing, changing a patient's body position, but one local hospital says it has been effective in treating COVID-19.

Nurses at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire say they have used "proning" or prone positioning on about a half dozen patients, including a recent COVID-19 patient who has since been discharged.

The process involves flipping the patient from their back to their belly.

A local respiratory therapist says this helps the lungs open up while also protecting the patient.

Respiratory Therapist at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital Dusti Mielke "so when you change the patient's position from their back to their belly it's kind of like a lung protective strategy."

Nurses say proning is not a new technique and has typically been used on patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome.