Patients with the novel coronavirus should practice the technique as soon as they confirm an infection, or better yet, well in advance.
Rabat – A doctor at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, England shared a simple but potentially life-saving breathing technique for COVID-19 patients and those who want to prepare their lungs to brave a coronavirus infection.
Queen’s Hospital Director of Nursing Sue Elliot created the technique, which Dr. Sarfaraz Munshi demonstrated in a now-viral video.
“Once you have an active [COVID-19] infection, you need to be getting a good amount of air into the base of the lung,” Munshi began.
The technique to ensure air supply begins with taking five deep breaths in and holding each breath for five seconds. Take a sixth deep breath and follow it with a strong cough, while covering the mouth, to open up the lower airways of the lungs.
Munshi said the technique may cause mild dizziness.
The breathing cycle should be repeated two times.
After completing two cycles, lay flat on your stomach with a pillow, and take slightly deeper than normal breaths for 10 minutes. Practice the technique regularly.
The key, Munshi said, is laying on your stomach.
“The majority of your lung is on your back, not on your front, so by lying on your back you are closing off more of the smaller airways,” he said.
Laying on your back for long periods is especially dangerous for patients with COVID-19, Munshi warned, as it can lead to secondary pneumonia and worsen the respiratory infection.
The helpful video has gone viral, with JK Rowling sharing it on Twitter on April 6.
“Please watch this doctor from Queens Hospital explain how to relieve respiratory symptoms,” the author wrote.
Rowling said she has presented all of the standard symptoms of COVID-19 but has not been tested. She followed the breathing technique on the advice of her husband, a former intensive care doctor, and now claims to be fully recovered.
Please watch this doc from Queens Hospital explain how to relieve respiratory symptoms. For last 2 weeks I’ve had all symptoms of C19 (tho haven’t been tested) & did this on doc husband’s advice. I’m fully recovered & technique helped a lot.https://t.co/xo8AansUvc via @YouTube
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) April 6, 2020
Symptoms of a COVID-19 infection include a dry cough, fever, unexplained fatigue, and difficulty breathing in severe cases.
In some cases, symptoms may not appear until up to two weeks after infection. About 80% of COVID-19 patients recover from the disease without requiring special treatment, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
A COVID-19 infection can be serious and even fatal in some cases. The elderly and people with other medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease may be more vulnerable to serious infections.