Original author: Ana Gajic
Published: July 15, 2020
A team of General Internal Medicine (GIM) physicians are investigating whether the simple step of positioning a COVID-19 patient on their stomach can decrease their risk of death and aid their recovery.
The trial, which includes 11 hospitals in Canada and the US, is being led by Dr. Michael Fralick at Mount Sinai Hospital and Dr. Amol Verma and Dr. Fahad Razak of St. Michael’s.
They want to know whether prone positioning – the practice of positioning a patient with COVID-19 on their stomach – helps lower the risk of death and need for mechanical ventilation or supplemental oxygen.
“Many health-care workers have anecdotally noted that flipping a COVID-19 patient to lie on their stomachs improves their oxygen levels,” said
Dr. Fralick, who is also a researcher at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute (LKSKI).
“The study will aim to prove this anecdotal evidence. If a patient who has COVID-19 is hospitalized but they are not critically ill, they will be randomized to either spend time on their stomachs or to receive the standard of care.”
“The team at St. Joseph’s has poured their heart and souls into finding the best possible treatments for patients during this pandemic,” said Dr. Travis Carpenter, a GIM Physician and the site study lead at St. Joseph’s. “For each site involved, the real benefit here is the opportunity to better understand how to provide the best care possible to COVID-19 patients.”