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Why Left Lateral Recumbent?


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Never been told it was just on the left LR.. Place the victim in a Lateral Recumbent, recovery position, either left or right; unless there is spine or trunk trauma. While tilting the head back opens the airway. Prior to EMS arrival, and with the lack of a tool to remove fluids from the airway. It may allow for fluids to collect in the throat; or fluids to be regurgitated into the throat. The proper recovery position, will allow said fluids to drain while keeping the airway open. It's easy to explain, and can be done quickly by just one person. Making it perfect for initial care first aid. I'm sure whomever began the movement for civilians learning technique and method in first aid was responsible for its use. So, either St. John or The Red Cross.

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I just found out the same guy invented LLR position that named FACE sheets ... FACE sheets (what the hell does that stand for anyway?)

I'm assuming he's not alive anymore....?

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You hear it a lot to put altered patient "left lateral" or in "recovery position" but on their left side (even if NOT pregnant).

Is there scientific reason for the LEFT side, specifically?

I was originally told it was to prevent aspiration, but no one can really explain why the LEFT side.

I've heard:

- Stomach curves to the left, so vomit would have an extra curve to overcome

- Stomach curves to left, so contents won't be pushing against sphincter.

- In the ambulance, attendant can watch him better facing toward him.

- It helps pre-load by not having thoracic pressure on inferior vena cava

The first two don't quite sound legitimate enough. The third isn't great, because it only applies once patient is on gurney. Fourth does make sense, but it has nothing to do with aspiration and it assumes that all patients are in some kind of blood pressure / preload distress.

It would make sense as a position for a post-arrest patient who is now breathing or shock patients, perhaps. But why is it this big rule I seem to hear all over? Why must it be to the left side?

Look at the anatomy and note that the inferior vena cavae runs up the right side, by putting your patient on the left side it will move contents away from the vena cavae and you have better circulation, especially with pregnancy, the baby is moved off the vena cavae and now mom can get better circulation.

Look at the anatomy and note that the inferior vena cavae runs up the right side, by putting your patient on the left side it will move contents away from the vena cavae and you have better circulation, especially with pregnancy, the baby is moved off the vena cavae and now mom can get better circulation

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Look at the anatomy and note that the inferior vena cavae runs up the right side, by putting your patient on the left side it will move contents away from the vena cavae and you have better circulation, especially with pregnancy, the baby is moved off the vena cavae and now mom can get better circulation

Did you actually read the post?

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  • 4 years later...

Holy resurrection Batman. If after 4 years anyone is sill around and interested I think that Left lateral recumbent, or any recumbent position will better circulation by increasing venous return, pre-load and therefore stroke volume in absence of pathologies that would deny this mechanism.

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Face Sheet (defined):
Any cover sheet to a multipage document that contains the relevant points covered in the document itself
Managed care Declaration of health insurance
Pathology A sheet of paper attached to an autopsy report which includes pertinent patient information and summarises clinical history, course of disease before death, major causes of death and notable postmortem findings
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I understand that the theory is LLR reduced pressure on the IVC, but would that shift all the weight onto the aortic arch and descending aorta? or are they assuming the pressure of the heart pumping is enough to overcome this?

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