Tripod position

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The tripod position is a physical stance often assumed by people experiencing respiratory distress (such as COPD patients) or who are simply out of breath (such as a person who has just run a sprint).[1] In tripod position, one sits or stands leaning forward and supporting the upper body with hands on the knees or on another surface.[2] Among medical professionals, a patient adopting the tripod position is considered an indication that the patient may be in respiratory distress.[3] In the setting of chest pain without labored respirations, the tripod position may indicate acute pericarditis.

It has been thought that the tripod position optimizes the mechanics of respiration by taking advantage of the accessory muscles of the neck and upper chest to get more air into the lungs.[4][5]

With the position of the arms secure, contraction of the pectoralis results in elevation of the anterior wall of the chest.[6]

However, a 2007 Indian study of the tripod position in COPD patients found no significant helpful effects, so perhaps more study is needed to understand the mechanism.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Examination of Musculoskeletal Injuries, by Sandra J. Shultz, Peggy A. Houglum, David H. Perrin
  2. ^ http://medind.nic.in/iae/t09/i2/iaet09i2p83.pdf, Effect of Tripod Position on Objective Parameters of Respiratory Function in Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; S.P. Bhatt1, R. Guleria1, T.K. Luqman-Arafath1, A.K. Gupta2, A. Mohan1, S. Nanda1 and J.C. Stoltzfus3
  3. ^ http://www.free-ed.net/sweethaven/MedTech/Vitals/default.asp?iNum=0401 SweetHaven Publishing Services, Taking Vital Signs
  4. ^ https://meded.ucsd.edu/clinicalimg/thorax_tripod.htm UCSD Catalog of Clinical Images
  5. ^ Examination of Musculoskeletal Injuries, by Sandra J. Shultz, Peggy A. Houglum, David H. Perrin
  6. ^ Respiratory Physiology: a Clinical Approach, by Richard M. Schwartzstein and Michael J. Parker; Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (August 12, 2005)
  7. ^ http://medind.nic.in/iae/t09/i2/iaet09i2p83.pdf, Effect of Tripod Position on Objective Parameters of Respiratory Function in Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; S.P. Bhatt1, R. Guleria1, T.K. Luqman-Arafath1, A.K. Gupta2, A. Mohan1, S. Nanda1 and J.C. Stoltzfus3