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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2003 Nov;47(10):1270-5.

Effects of posture on postoperative pulmonary function.

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1
Department of Surgical Gastroenterology, Hvidovre University Hospital, Denmark.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pulmonary morbidity is still a relevant complication to major surgery despite improvements in surgical technique and anaesthetic methods. Postoperative posture may be a pathogenic factor, but the effects of changes in postoperative posture on pulmonary function have not been reviewed.

METHODS:

Review of controlled, clinical trials evaluating postoperative pulmonary function in patients positioned in the supine vs. the sitting or standing position and patients positioned in the supine vs. the lateral position. Data were obtained from a search in the Medline and Cochrane databases (1966 - August 2002) and manually searched bibliographies of the identified papers.

RESULTS:

Eighteen papers met the inclusion criteria. Twelve studies evaluated the supine vs. the sitting or standing position and six studies evaluated the supine vs. the lateral position. Six of 12 studies found a positive effect on postoperative pulmonary function in the sitting or standing position compared with the supine. Thus, avoidance of the supine position may improve postoperative pulmonary function. Three of six studies showed a positive effect on postoperative pulmonary function of the lateral side compared with the supine. Thus, the lateral position has limited effects on pulmonary function.

CONCLUSION:

Changes of postoperative position from supine to sitting or standing are of major importance in the interpretation of postoperative pulmonary outcome studies and in future strategies to improve pulmonary outcome.

PMID:
14616326
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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