Turn Therapy Theory Part 2 – Turning angles

2nd principle of bedside ergonomics relative to 30 degree lateral turn position:

A. There are only 2 “natural” positions that a bedbound person is able to rest without support; supine (0 angle) and fully side lateral (90 degree angle).

B. At all angles between 0 and 90 degrees, there is a physiological and ergonomic “tendency” toward the closest neutral angled position.

C. In order for a support device to effectively support a 30 degree angle, it must provide fully supported and distributed pressure such that the persons’ physiologic and ergonomic needs are accommodated, so that he/she will not have a need to shift onto a bony prominence.

If the support is not comfortable or does not provide enough support against gravity, either because it is not making effective contact with the back or it is “pushing” against contours or sensitive irritated areas, the person will have a need to shift to the angle of least resistance and more comfort, either on the back or to fully 90 degree side turned.

A person who is totally immobile and without reflex function must be supported in ergonomically correct position to avoid compromise to musculoskeletal, circulatory and neurological integrity.