Patient Positioning

Everything there is to know about patient positioning devices.

Patient positioning is a medical term representing the patient's exact physical placement on the operation table, in the bed, or while performing any diagnostic procedures or treatments. Patient positioning devices allow easier access to the area that is being operated. Often the general view of the human's placement in the bed may be a sign of exact pathology. There are many various postures used nowadays in different fields of medicine. 

In some instances, various diagnostic procedures require exact postures. Sometimes, different unique poses of the patient help relieve their symptoms or achieve a therapeutic effect. Often, the patient should be immobilized to keep the posture for a prolonged period. In those cases, usually, patient positioning devices are used. 

A Little Bit of History

There are various stances used in the medical field from the very beginning of time. For example, the postural drainage, a unique patient pose intended mostly for bronchus and trachea obstruction symptoms relief, was for the treatment of illness since the time of Ancient Greece.

Lots of methods have developed independently from each other for many years. Some of them got the names of their creators, and some stay unnamed. Among the most well-known postures are the Trendelenburg invented by Friedrich Trendelenburg, a German surgeon, who created it to increase the distension of the upper central veins. 

The patient positioning principals are a very unstable theme in medicine, and they always get modified, complemented by something, and reperformed. For example, already referred above, Trendelenburg posture very got an "evil sibling brother" - the Reversed Trendelenburg. It showed that placing the human per se didn't increase bleeding, and it can probably be suitable in rhinoplasty surgeries.

Different Variety of Patient Poses 

As mentioned above, there is a wide variety of different stances nowadays presented in medicine. Many additional, modified, and improved positions added to the overall pool of those medical kind of-tolls lists every day. A large-scale variety of different researches are made every day about that subject. To be more confident in the whole of this diversity, we need to highlight for you at least a few of the most well-known and often used among them. So, here they are:


This stance is suitable for surgery of the shoulders, and various neurosurgical, breast, nasal, and few abdominal methods of treatment. The patient sits on the chair with the head fixated. The main reason the other name of this stance is "sitting."


Named also Dorsal Decubitus, various procedures use this patient pose. The patient is lying down on the table with a fixed head, and arms, up-face. It is useful in cardiac, vascular, laparoscopic, abdominal, chest, and many other manipulations. 


Also known as a kneeling or knee-chest patient Sims position, this pose involves abnormal knee pressure; careful precaution is necessary. 


It takes after a standard lateral stance. The abdomen gets placed over a lift, which bends the body and lets surgeons access the retroperitoneal space—often used for various kidney surgeries.


The head is somewhere in the middle part, face-down, no excessive extension, flexion, or even rotation allowed to remove the pressure and blood from cheeks, mouth, lips, eyes, and ears. It is often used for various operations on the neck, spine, and others.


The patient positions in a pose with extremely bent up legs, set into a stirrup-style holder for the legs, or a boots holder. The main spheres of the usage are proctology, gynecology, and urology.


The pose name speaks for itself - the patient is merely lying on the left or right back, depending on the surgeon's needs, really similar to Sims position. His back is straight, shoulders rest, and hands are lying in front of him. The pose is often used during ENT, renal, thoracic, collateral, and neurosurgery.

Sims position

That is one of the modifications for the left lateral postures. The left leg is straight, and the right is bent in a knee, while the weight of the human's body helps him or her not to fall. Usually, this sims position remains conscious of it and grants anus access.

Complications That May Occur

When complications occur during surgery, they may be as a result of lots of potential events. In certain stances, if the patient, for example, is lying at the Trendelenburg posture, and the nasal bleeding occurs (let us say, due to high arterial pressure), it may potentially end in death. It is so as the pose increases the pressure in the head, neck, and face. That posture may also cause a few complications, which are connected with respiratory and cardiovascular systems. The main reason is the same again - high arterial pressure.

The different groups of complications are pretty extensive, as no posture in the whole scientific and medical world can satisfy the needs of the surgeon and prevent a whole bunch of possible complications of different natures. Generally, it is one of the first essential reflections of the principle of vicious circles in medicine. And there is nothing entirely ideal in this world, even for surgeons. But this is also one of the main reasons why the searching and discovery of new postures are still actively happening.

There is also a severe risk of a pose injury. As in most cases, the patient remains unconscious during the entire procedure, there is a substantial probability of various bruises, and stagnations occurring. Also, different additional mechanical traumas, wounds, and cuts may occur. 

Leaderships of patient positioning devices

Lots of various patient positioning devices nowadays exist. Those tools are utilized not only for patient positioning during various surgical operations but also, for example, different homecare, treatment, and rehabilitation purposes too. So, we made a complex market check-up and gathered information about the best, the most valuable, and the quality of patient positioning devices. And here is what we got:

  • Ali Med
  • Mc Kesson
  • Ali Gel
  • Azure
  • Freedom
  • Foam
  • Bean Bag
  • AORN
  • Jones & Barlett
  • AST

There are lots of different pretty cheap and easy to buy stances tools from China nowadays that are available on the market. But it is dangerous to buy them, as they may turn from a useful device into a suicide-man deadly weapon at any minute. For example, the anti-back pain airbag may begin to deflate pretty fast, which potentially can be a reason for severe injury.


We require more exploration in patient positioning devices and positions, as various in-depth features, and individual possibilities are yet to be discovered. There are still many different possible variations of almost every known patient posture whose potential seems fully inexhaustible. 

Many various combinations of elements, spaces, methods, and techniques already existed and were understood from the very beginning of time. The ones just discovered recently, and those that will get found in the future are only an amazingly significant number of possibilities. Every medical practitioner should join this process as soon as possible! 

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