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The 30 degree tilt position vs the 90 degree lateral and supine positions in reducing the incidence of non-blanching erythema in a hospital inpatient population: a randomised controlled trial



The 30 degree tilt position vs the 90 degree lateral and supine positions in reducing the incidence of non-blanching erythema in a hospital inpatient population: a randomised controlled trial



Journal of Tissue Viability 14(3): 88, 90, 92-6



Manual repositioning of patients by nursing staff is a recognised technique for preventing pressure ulcer formation. The 30 degree tilt is a method of positioning patients that, in the laboratory setting, reduced the contact pressure between the patient and the support surface. A randomised controlled trial was used to examine the effects of the 30 degree tilt position in reducing the incidence of non-blanching erythema (i.e. established pressure damage) in a hospital inpatient population (n=23) when compared to the use of the 90 degree lateral and supine position (n=23). The primary outcome of the trial was the incidence of pressure damage, defined as non-blanching erythema. In this study no subject developed pressure damage that presented with visible breaks in the epidermis, but all damage was restricted to areas of non-blanching erythema (five of the 39 subjects who completed the study exhibited such injury). The main findings of this study were that patient positioning using the 30 degree tilt method did not reduce the incidence of pressure damage compared with either the 90 degree lateral or supine positions. This study also investigated the feasibility of using the 30 degree tilt position with medical inpatients; it found that 78% of subjects experienced difficulty in adopting and maintaining the position. This finding seriously questions the practicality of using the 30 degree tilt method with a predominantly ill population.

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Accession: 050520240

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PMID: 15709355


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