Trendelenburg and Hypotension: Should we use it?

From the 1800’s Trendelenburg position was utilized in the treatment of shock to increase blood flow to the heart and vital organs. It was named after Dr. Friedrich Trendelenburg, a surgeon who used the position for pelvic surgeries. From World War I, Trendelenburg became common practice in various healthcare settings.

In many healthcare settings, Trendelenburg position is used for management of hypotension. However, the research does not support the use of Trendelenburg as an intervention for hypotension. Potential adverse effects of using this position include increased intracranial pressure, decreased lung expansion/lung volumes and a decreased response to the hypotensive state. Hence as per evidence-based practices in nursing, Trendelenburg position is not recommended as the best option for hypotension.

What are you supposed to do then? Interventions that are successful in treating hypotension include vasopressors, inotropic agents, intravascular volume, and cardiac assist devices. Do what works and evidence supports!
Be up-to-date with evidence-based practices in nursing. It will come handy whether you are studying for exam or practicing at bedside.