Intraoperative Patient Positioning and Neurological Injuries

  • Cara Reimer
  • Peter SlingerEmail author


Thoracic cases usually involve repositioning the patient after induction of anesthesia. Vigilance is required to avoid major displacement of airway devices, lines, and monitors during and after position changes. Obtaining central venous access after changing to the lateral position is extremely difficult. If a central line may be needed, it should be placed at induction. Prevention of peripheral nerve injuries in the lateral position requires a survey of the patient from the head and sides of the operating table prior to draping. Post-thoracotomy paraplegia is primarily a surgical complication.


Position change Lateral position Flexed-lateral position Supine positions Prone position Central neural injuries Paraplegia Blindness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative MedicineKingston Health Sciences CentreKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of AnesthesiaToronto General HospitalTorontoCanada

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