[L. positio, a placing]

1. The place or arrangement in which something is put.
2. The manner in which a body is arranged, as by the nurse or physician for examination.
3. In obstetrics, the relationship of a selected fetal landmark to the maternal front or back, and on the right or left side. SEE TABLE: Positions of Fetus in Utero;

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POSITIONS ; SEE: presentation for illus.
Positions of Fetus in Utero
Vertex Presentation (point of designation—occiput)
Left occiput anteriorLOA
Right occiput posteriorROP
Right occiput anteriorROA
Left occiput posteriorLOP
Right occiput transverseROT
Occiput anteriorOA
Occiput posteriorOP
Breech Presentation (point of designation—sacrum)
Left sacroanteriorLSA
Right sacroposteriorRSP
Right sacroanteriorRSA
Left sacroposteriorLSP
Left sacrotransverseLST
Right sacrotransverseRST
Face Presentation (point of designation—mentum)
Left mentoanteriorLMA
Right mentoposteriorRMP
Right mentoanteriorRMA
Left mentoposteriorLMP
Left mentotransverseLMT
Right mentotransverseRMT
Transverse Presentation (point of designation—scapula of presenting shoulder)
Left acromiodorso-anteriorLADA
Right acromiodorso-posteriorRADP
Right acromiodorso-anteriorRADA
Left acromiodorso-posteriorLADP

abdominal position

SEE: Horizontal abdominal position.

anatomical position

The position assumed when a person is standing erect with arms at the sides, palms forward.
SYN: SEE: orthograde position

anteroposterior position

A radiographical examination position in which the central ray enters the front of the body and exits from the back.

antideformity position

Any of several postures that reduce edema and the shortening of ligaments and tendons caused by abnormal muscle tone, e.g., in patients with injuries or burns.

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ANTIDEFORMITY POSITION Splinting the hand in the antideformity position minimizes the risk of dysfunctional changes to the immobilized joints.

axial position

A radiographical examination position in which an image is obtained with the central ray entering the body at an angle.

Bonnet position

In inflammation of the hip joint, the flexion, abduction, and outward rotation of the thigh, which produces relief.

Brickner position

A method of obtaining traction, abduction, and external rotation of the shoulder by securing the patient's wrist to the head of the bed.

butterfly position

SEE: Frog-leg position.

centric position

The most posterior position of the mandible in relation to the maxilla.

closed-packed position

close-packed position Of a joint, the position in which there is maximum congruency of the articular surfaces and joint stability is derived from the alignment of bones. This is the opposite of the maximum loose-packed position.

decubitus position

The position of the patient on a flat surface. The exact position is indicated by which surface of the body is closest to the flat surface: in left or right lateral decubitus, the patient is flat on the left or right side, respectively; in dorsal or ventral decubitus, the patient is on the back or abdomen, respectively.

dorsal elevated position

A position in which the patient lies on the back with the head and shoulders elevated at an angle of 30° or more. It is employed in digital examination of genitalia and in bimanual examination of the vagina.

dorsal recumbent position

A position in which the patient lies on the back with the lower extremities moderately flexed and rotated outward. It is employed in the application of obstetrical forceps, repair of lesions following parturition, vaginal examination, and bimanual palpation.

dorsosacral position

SEE: Lithotomy position.

Edebohls position

SEE: Simon position.

Elliot position

SEE: Elliot position

en face position

In obstetrics, a position in which the mother and infant are face to face. This position encourages eye contact and is conducive to attachment.

English position

SEE: Left lateral recumbent position.

fetal position

The relationship of a specified bony landmark on the fetal presenting part to the quadrants of the maternal pelvis.

Fowler position

SEE: Fowler position; SEE: position for illus. (Fowler position)

frog-leg position

A body position used in physical examination to evaluate the genitals and perineum in which the patient lies on the back or sits on the buttocks, bends the knees, abducts the thighs, and draws the heels toward the pelvis.
SYN: SEE: butterfly position.

functional position of hand

In making splints for the hand, the position in which the wrist is dorsiflexed 20 to 35°, a normal transverse arch is maintained, and the thumb is in abduction and opposition and aligned with the pads of the four fingers. Proximal interphalangeal joints are flexed 45 to 60°.

genucubital position

A position with the patient on the knees, thighs upright, body resting on elbows, head down on hands. It is used when it is not possible to use the classic knee-chest position.
SYN: SEE: knee-elbow position

genupectoral position

A position with the patient on the knees, thighs upright, the head and upper part of the chest resting on the table, arms crossed above the head. It is employed in displacement of a prolapsed fundus, dislodgment of the impacted head of a fetus, management of transverse presentation, replacement of a retroverted uterus or displaced ovary, or flushing of the intestinal canal.
SYN: SEE: knee-chest position
SEE: position for illus.

gravity-dependent position

Placement of a limb so that its distal end is lower than the level of the heart. Gravity affects the fluids within the limb, drawing or retaining them to the distal aspect. When limbs, esp. injured limbs, are placed below the level of the heart, interstitial pressure is increased, encouraging the formation and retention of edema within the extremity.

head-down position

SEE: Trendelenburg position.

heat escape lessening position

ABBR: HELP A body posture that decreases the rate of heat loss when a person is immersed in water. It is an important component of aquatic safety. HELP protects the head, neck, chest, and groin from rapid heat loss and delays the onset of hypothermia. The position is assumed by floating on the back with the head and neck above the water line, the arms crossed on the chest, and the legs crossed with the knees drawn up toward the perineum. The body is sustained in a stable floating position in the water by a personal flotation device.

horizontal position

A position in which the patient lies supine with feet extended. It is used in palpation, in auscultation of fetal heart, and in operative procedures.

horizontal abdominal position

1. A position in which the patient lies flat on the abdomen with the feet extended. It is used in examination of the back and spinal column.
2. Face-down, prone position.
SYN: SEE: abdominal position

intercuspal position

SEE: Centric occlusion.

jackknife position

A position in which the patient lies on the back, shoulders elevated, legs flexed on thighs, thighs at right angles to the abdomen. It is used when introducing a urethral sound.
SYN: SEE: reclining position

knee-chest position

SEE: Genupectoral position.
SEE: position for illus.

knee-elbow position

SEE: Genucubital position.

lateral position

In radiology, a side-lying position, which allows the central ray to enter the upright side.
SEE: position for illus.

lateral sleeping position

Sleeping on either the left side of the body or the right, rather than prone or supine.

laterosemiprone position

SEE: Sims position

lawn-chair position

A colloquial term for a dorsal recumbent position with the hips and knees flexed slightly (5° to 10°).

left lateral recumbent position

A position employed in vaginal examination, with the patient lying on the left side, right knee and thigh drawn up.
SYN: SEE: English position; SEE: obstetrical position

lithotomy position

A surgical position used in gynecological, rectal, and urological procedures in which the patient lies on his or her back, thighs flexed on the abdomen, legs on thighs, thighs abducted. It is used in genital tract operations, vaginal hysterectomy, and the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the urethra and bladder.
SYN: SEE: dorsosacral position
SEE: position for illus

loose-packed position

The position of a joint where it is unlocked and free to move.
SYN: SEE: open-packed position
SEE: closed-packed position

maximum loose-packed position

Of a joint, the position where maximum joint play occurs, where ligaments and capsule have the least amount of tension.
SYN: SEE: resting position

Noble position

SEE: Noble position

oblique position

In radiology, an alignment of the body between a lateral and an anteroposterior or posteroanterior position. The angle formed by the body surface and the image receptor may vary. The central ray enters the aspect of the body that is upright and facing away from the image receptor.

obstetrical position

SEE: Left lateral recumbent position.

open-packed position

SEE: Loose-packed position.

orthograde position

SEE: Anatomical position.

orthopneic position

The upright or nearly upright position of the upper trunk of a patient in a bed or chair. It facilitates breathing in those with congestive heart failure and some forms of pulmonary disease.

physiological rest position

In dentistry, the position of the mandible at rest when the patient is sitting upright and the condyles are in an unstrained position. The jaw muscles are relaxed.
SYN: SEE: rest position

posterior-anterior position

ABBR: PA position In radiology, a position in which the central ray enters the posterior surface of the body and exits the anterior surface.

prone position

A position in which the patient is lying face downward.
SEE: position for illus

prone-on-elbows position

ABBR: POE A position in which the body is lying face down with the upper trunk and head elevated, propped up by the arms, while the lower body is in contact with the supporting surface. The weight of the upper body rests on the elbows and forearms.

This position, a component of the developmental sequence, is used in physical therapy to improve weight bearing and stability through the shoulder girdle. Elbow joint stability is not required, because the joint is not involved.

reclining position

SEE: Jackknife position.

recovery position

A position in which the patient is placed on the left side with the left arm moved aside and supported to allow for lung expansion and the right leg crossed over the left. This position affords the unconscious, breathing patient the best protection from airway occlusion or aspiration of fluids into the lungs.

rest position

SEE: Physiological rest position.

resting position

SEE: Maximum loose-packed position.

resting position of hand

In making splints for the hand, the position in which the forearm is midway between pronation and supination, the wrist is at 12 to 20° dorsiflexion, and the phalanges are slightly flexed. The thumb is in partial opposition and forward.

semi-Fowler position

A position in which the patient lies on the back with the trunk elevated at approx. 30°.
SEE: Fowler position

semiprone position

SEE: Sims position.
SEE: position for illus.

Sims position

SEE: Sims position; SEE: position for illus

subtalar neutral position of the foot

The middle range of the subtalar joint with no pronation or supination measured. It is usually one third of the way from the fully everted position.

tangential position

In radiology, a position in which the central ray separates the images of anatomical parts by skimming between them.

Trendelenburg position

SEE: Trendelenburg, Friedrich

tripod position

1. A position that may be assumed during respiratory distress to facilitate the use of respiratory accessory muscles. The patient sits leaning forward, with hands placed on the bed or a table with arms braced.
2. In infancy, a sitting position in which the child supports himself or herself with the legs and hands in front of the body.

unilateral recumbent position

1. The position in which the patient lies on the right side, used in acute pleurisy, lobar pneumonia of the right side, and in a greatly enlarged liver.
2. The position in which the patient lies on left side, used in lobar pneumonia, pleurisy on the left side, and in large pericardial effusions.
SEE: position for illus.

Walcher position

SEE: Walcher position

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