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Sims Position: What is it and When to Use it?

Sims position is a conventionally popular technique and was an invention of James Marion Sims from where the position derives its name. James Marion Sims is regarded as the father of modern gynecology due to his significant work in the field of gynecological science. He was a physician and a gynecologist by profession and is often remembered for his contribution in the form of reliable approaches. These approaches are used by the gynecologists worldwide to assist the women through an uncomplicated childbirth process. (1)

Sims position is generally used by the medical practitioners to carry out the vaginal and the colonic examination in an easy and efficient manner. Sims position is also one of the most preferred ways of helping the pregnant ladies to pursue deliveries naturally rather than going for the surgical methods. Besides offering the benefits of a convenient position in case of breech delivery, hip joint restriction, congestive heart failure, it also poses fewer risks of varicosities which add to its competence. (2)

This position is even considered the best posture for the administering the enemas, perform procedures and carrying out the rectal and genital check-ups on the patients. (3). However, this position is not considered suitable for patients suffering from leg injuries or arthritis.

The Position – What is it?

In this position, the patient lies on the left side. The right knee is bent against the abdomen while the left knee is slightly tilted. The right arm is positioned comfortably in front of the body while the left one is rested behind the body, preferably on the closest part of the buttocks.

How to Help the Patient through the Sims Positions?

Adjust the opposite side rails according to the required height and make sure that you screw the wheels.

Shift the patient to the location on the bed which is conveniently accessible to you.

Help the patient turn towards the left side using a positioning device like pillow such that they rest partly on the left side while partly on the stomach.

Place the upper or the right arm of the patient in such a way that it rests freely and is bent at the shoulders and the elbow.

Position the lower arm or the left arm in a manner that it lies on the back of the patient, on or near the hips.

Flex both the legs such that the right leg is comparatively less flexed than the right one.

Once through the process, make sure that you adjust the legs and the hands of the patients so that none of them experiences too much pressure. Also, make sure that the head of the person does not pose any challenge to the proper breathing process.

Adjust the side rails.

You can also position pillows below the head of the patient and between both the legs to avoid discomfort to the patient.

Advantages of Sims Position

Sims position offers numerous benefits to the patient as well as the medical practitioners. Some of them have been listed here for you:

It helps the physicians and the nursing team to examine the patient conveniently in such a way that also take cares of the comfort of the patient. It also ensures that the patient does not feel embarrassed while the tests are being done.

It provides a more unobstructed view of the body part to be checked up hence it gets easy to observe cystocele, rectocele and uterine prolapse along with their degree.

The doctors are given liberty to move with this position thereby facilitating better quality. (4)

The body parts and organs to be tested like the rectal area, the vaginal area, cervix or the genital area are clearly visible. It allows the examiner to have a better view of the problem and employ better therapeutic measures after understanding the causes to overcome them.

Lying in this position enables certain areas of the body to be more open up and hence provide sufficient space to palpate. It would allow the doctor to determine the medical condition better and come up with effective curative recommendations.

This position is also the most convenient sleeping position for the pregnant ladies because it helps to regulate the blood pressure which has declined due to the weight of the fetus and the amniotic fluid.