Positioning Patients As A Routine Activity

2179 Words Apr 3rd, 2015 9 Pages
Positioning patients is a routine activity carried out by critical care nurses. For mechanically ventilated patients, positioning is aimed towards minimising skin breakdown, improving oxygenation and preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) (Thomas, Paratz, Lipman & Stanton, 2007). According to Shah, Desai and Gohil (2012), therapeutic body positioning is different from routine body positioning when prescribed to optimise cardiopulmonary function and oxygen transport. It is utilised to improve ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) matching, lung volumes, secretion clearance and to reduce the work of breathing (Clini & Ambrosino, 2005). Frequent turning and repositioning improves gas exchange and blood flow in the lungs and enhance drainage of pulmonary secretions (Blume & Byrum, 2009). The belief that repositioning patients was beneficial originated in medical textbooks instructing nurses to reposition the patients every 4 hours to prevent skin breakdown and mobilise pulmonary secretions (Wanless & Aldridge, 2011). As a standard of practice, nurses in the intensive care unit (ICU) turn and reposition patients every 2 hours to prevent complications associated with immobility, such as impaired mucociliary clearance due to accumulation of mucus in the dependent lung zones (Hess, 2005). Several studies have demonstrated that positioning can improve oxygenation in the mechanically ventilated patients with respiratory problems (Alsaghir & Martin, 2008). This literature review will…
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