Archive December 2006 VII, No. 12

Prevent Patient Positioning Problems

Practical advice to reduce injuries from prolonged pressure and improper positioning.

Suzy Scott-Williams, MSN, RN, CWOCN

The chief aim of positioning a patient for surgery is to allow the surgeon and his staff sufficient access to the surgical site, the airway, IV lines and monitoring devices. But the prolonged pressure and shear force of improper positioning can compromise patient safety, resulting in deep tissue injuries such as circulatory interruption, perioperative pressure ulcers and nerve compression, even in routine surgical procedures. Here's how to avoid them.

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