An Ohio inmate will receive a wedge-shaped pillow to help him breathe during his execution this week, the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction announced.

The state's prisons system plans to give the pillow to death row inmate Alva Campbell on Wednesday (15 November) for breathing issues he may experience while lying flat, Fox8 Cleveland reported.

The pillow was recommended by a prison doctor after Campbell reportedly became mildly agitated when lying on his back during an exam in October.

Dr James McWeeney noted that there were no objective findings, such as increased pulse rate or breathing, to verify Campbell's anxiety, WCPO reported. Still, McWeeney recommended Campbell lie "in a semi-recumbent position" during his execution.

According to Fox8, the exam also failed to find suitable veins on either of Campbell's arms to insert an IV.

The 69-year-old inmate has severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder due to his heavy smoking habit. He also uses a walker, relies on a colostomy bag, requires four breathing treatments daily and may have lung cancer, his attorney claims.

Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said the agency is assessing the inmate's medical condition and history to figure out any necessary accommodations.

Campbell, who was sentenced to death for killing a teenager during a 1997 carjacking, has requested the US Supreme Court stop his execution, arguing he is too sick to be executed. The state denied Campbell's clemency request.