COVID-19 reports make for harrowing reading, with patients recounting the gruelling stages of their symptoms. More often than not, the symptoms involve intense coughing episodes and trouble breathing. This is because COVID-19 is a respiratory infection so the lungs are hit hardest by the pathogen.
It is easy to feel like there is nothing you can do to alleviate these symptoms, but a doctor at Queen’s Hospital provides some cause for optimism.
In a video posted to social media, Dr Sarfaraz Munshi, urgent care lead at Queen’s Hospital, has shared a breathing technique which could help relieve the symptoms of COVID-19.
Dr Munshi, attributes the creation of the technique to his colleague Sue Elliot, a director of nursing, uses the techniques regularly with patients in the intensive care unit.
He says that it is imperative for those who have an active infection to make sure that they’re getting a good amount of air in the base of their lungs right from the outset.
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And for the next 10 minutes take slightly deeper breaths than usual.
He said: “Please remember, and this is the most important part, lying in bed for prolonged periods on your back will close off the small airways.
“You’ve got to understand, the majority of your lung is on your back, not on your front, so, by lying on your back you’re covering off more of the smaller airways.”
He continues: “This is not good during a period of infection and can lead to atelectasis. This can then lead to a secondary pneumonia that can make your condition deteriorate much further – bearing in mind the patients that are deteriorating are deteriorating because of respiratory problems”.