Supine position

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Supine position and prone position

The supine position (/səˈpn/ or /ˈspn/) means lying horizontally with the face and torso facing up, as opposed to the prone position, which is face down. When used in surgical procedures, it allows access to the peritoneal, thoracic and pericardial regions; as well as the head, neck and extremities.[1]

Using anatomical terms of location, the dorsal side is down, and the ventral side is up, when supine.

A man lying in the supine position


In scientific literature "semi-supine" commonly refers to positions where the upper body is tilted (at 45° or variations) and not completely horizontal.[2]

Relation to sudden infant death syndrome[edit]

The decline in death due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is said to be attributable to having babies sleep in the supine position.[3] It is believed that in the prone position babies are more at risk to re-breathe their own carbon dioxide. Because of the immature state of their central chemoreceptors, infants do not respond to the subsequent respiratory acidosis that develops.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rothrock, J. C. (2007) Alexander's Care of the Patient in Surgery 13th Ed. Mobsy Elsevier: St Louis, Missouri. p. 148.
  2. ^ Petropoulou, E; Lancellotti, P; Piérard, LA (2006). "Quantitative analysis of semi-supine exercise echocardiography--influence of age on myocardial Doppler imaging indices". Acta cardiologica. 61 (3): 271–7. PMID 16869446. 
  3. ^ Marcarelli, Rebekah (3 May 2014). "Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Could Be Prevented By Making Sure Baby Sleeps On Back". Headlines & Global News. Retrieved 25 March 2016. 

External links[edit]