Fowler's position

Alternative eponyms

Related people

A semi-sitting position in bed after an abdominal operation.

Description

A semi-sitting position in bed after an abdominal operation. The head of an adjustable bed is elevated to the desired height, about 60-90 cm, to produce angulation of the body, usually 45° to 60°. Knees may or may not be bent. The position is used to facilitate breathing and drainage for the comfort of the bedridden patient while eating or talking. This position was first used by the English physician Charles Powell White (1728-1813). He instituted the principle of uterine drainage, placing his patients in a sitting position shortly after delivery using a special bed and chair. White was also the first after Hippocrates to make any substantial contributions towards the solution of the aetiology and management of puerperal fever.

Bibliography

  • C. P. White:
    A Treatise on the Management of Pregnant and Lying-in women.
    London, E. & C. Dilly, 1773.
    White was the first to state clearly in a text on midwifery the necessity of absolute cleanliness in the lying-in chamber, the isolation of infected patients, and adequate ventilation. He instituted the principle of uterine drainage, placing his patients in a sitting position shortly after delivery using a special bed and chair. In this he preceded Fowler. White was also the first after Hippocrates to make any substantial contributions towards the solution of the aetiology and management of puerperal fever.
  • G. R. Fowler:
    Diffuse septic peritonitis, with special reference to a new method of treatment, namely, the elevated head and trunk posture, to facilitate drainage into the pelvis, with a report of nine consecutive cases of recovery.
    The Medical Record, New York, 1900, 57: 617-623, 1029-1931.
    Reprinted in Medical Classics, 1940, 4, 551-580.

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