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Old 07-11-2008, 01:37 PM
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Default Stabilisation of head posture- Need help!

Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum. Currently, I work in a respiratory unit and would like to seek your advice.

I have noticed that many patients on respiratory failure prefer to lean forward with the head hunched over the chest while sitting in bed. Some of them even sleep in this posture which seems extremely uncomfortable to me,especially when the head droops to either side of the neck.

I have tried several arrangements of pillows/linen to try to stabilise the head but nothing seems to work satisfactorily. Would someone like to share her experience/tips on this issue please?

Many thanks
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Old 07-11-2008, 03:08 PM
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It sounds like your patients are tryign to get into the "tripod" position- it makes the effort of breathing easier for them. with regards to supporting the head, most people will change position when it starts bothering them...if you want to support thier head then give them a pillow to place over their arms and they can then rest their head on it.
I hope it helps?!
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Old 07-11-2008, 03:45 PM
Scalpal Sal
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Can't comment on respiratory pts, but when hubby had a halo fixator applied following wedge osteotomy of cervical spine, the only way he could sleep was to put pillows onto a bed table and rest on them, whilst sitting on the edge of the bed. Looked most uncomfortable, but at least it worked.
If the pt gets uncomfortable, he'll change position.
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Old 07-12-2008, 03:37 AM
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I'm with runningnurse on this one. We were taught that this was the original purpose of the tables (not for them to cover with nik-naks). If they are more comfortable leaning on the table, then give them a pillow to lean on. You might be able to encourage them to lye back a bit (however still sitting up) on pillow after they have been asleep for a while, and their resp rates have slowed down with sleep.
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