Supine/Prone Position

Realign patient in correct body alignment using one of the methods described below.

  • Perform hand hygiene.
  • Close door to room or close bedside curtains.
  • Put bed in flat position.

Positioning nonhemiplegic patient in supine position

  1. Place patient on back with head of bed flat.
  2. Place small, rolled towel under lumbar area of back.
  3. Place pillow under upper shoulders, neck, or head.
  4. Place rolled towels, trochanter rolls, or sandbags parallel to lateral surface of patient’s thighs.
  5. Place small pillow or roll under ankle to elevate heels.
  6. Place footboard or firm pillows against bottom of patient’s feet. High-top sneakers on patient’s feet may also be used..
  7. Place pillows under pronated forearms, keeping upper arms parallel to patient’s body.
  8. Place hand rolls in patient’s hands. Consider physical therapy referral for use of hand splints.
  9. Perform hand hygiene.

Positioning hemiplegic patient in supine position

  1. Place head of bed flat.
  2. Place folded towel or small pillow under shoulder of affected side.
  3. Keep affected arm away from body with elbow extended and palm up. Position affected hand in one of recommended positions for flaccid or spastic hand. (Alternative is to place arm out to side, with elbow bent and hand toward head of bed.)
  4. Place folded towel under hip of involved side.
  5. Flex affected knee 30 degrees by supporting it on pillow or folded blanket.
  6. Support feet with soft pillows at right angle to leg.
  7. Perform hand hygiene.

Positioning nonhemiplegic patient in prone position

  1. Roll patient to one side.
  2. Roll patient over arm positioned close to body, with elbow straight and hand under hip. Position on abdomen in center of bed.
  3. Turn patient’s head to one side, and support head with small pillow.
  4. Place small pillow under patient’s abdomen below level of diaphragm.
  5. Support arms in flexed position level at shoulders.
  6. Support lower legs with pillow to elevate toes.
  7. Perform hand hygiene.

Positioning hemiplegic patient in prone position

  1. Move patient toward unaffected side.
  2. While rolling patient onto side, place pillow on patient’s abdomen.
  3. Roll patient onto abdomen by positioning involved arm close to patient’s body, with elbow straight and hand under hip. Roll patient carefully over arm.
  4. Turn head toward involved side.
  5. Position the involved arm out to side, with elbow bent, hand toward head of bed, and fingers extended (if possible).
  6. Flex knees slightly by placing pillow under legs from knees to ankles.
  7. Keep feet at right angle to legs by using pillow high enough to keep toes off mattress and by applying high-top sneakers.
  8. Perform hand hygiene.

Comments