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This chapter provides guidance on moving and positioning patients, acknowledging the need to be clinically effective and, where possible, evidence based. It is important to emphasize that moving and positioning is just one aspect of rehabilitation, where the overall goal is to enable independence. Wherever possible, the aim should be to empower and enable the patient to actively move as much as possible. This chapter relates to moving and positioning of adults and does not specifically cover positioning of children or neonates.
The main objectives of the chapter are to:
  • outline the general considerations regarding moving and positioning
  • provide guidance on the principles of moving and positioning, whether the patient is in bed, sitting or preparing to mobilize
  • consider optimal moving and positioning, including modifications for patients with different clinical needs.
The chapter includes the following:
  • general principles of moving and handling
  • moving and positioning unconscious patients and patients with an artificial airway
  • considerations and modifications for patients with different respiratory requirements
  • moving and handling for patients with neurological problems, including spinal cord compressions and those with raised intracranial pressure
  • moving and handling considerations for upper and lower limb amputees.
The general principles of moving and positioning are discussed first followed by considerations of positioning for patients with specific clinical needs.


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