Understanding the tilt function on an electric profiling bed

Many electric profiling beds integrate the option of adjusting the tilt angle of the bed alongside adjusting various sections of the bed. Depending on which end of the bed is elevated, the tilt is usually referred to as either the ‘Trendelenburg’ position, or the ‘Anti-Trendelenburg’ position. These positions, which are named after German surgeon Friedrich Trendelenburg, have been used in a variety of medical situations since 1881. 

The ‘Anti-Trendelenburg’ position is the tilt most commonly used in community and residential care environments. This position involves adjusting the tilt angle of a bed to 110 so that an individual’s head is elevated higher than their feet (please see below).

(Invacare Medley Ergo Low in the ‘Anti-Trendelenburg’ position)

This feet down, head up position is particularly beneficial when combined with the profiling capabilities of an electric profiling bed. Adjusting the head section of a bed whilst in the ‘Anti-Trendelenburg’ position can allow patients with limited mobility to comfortably achieve a near seated or ‘chair’ position, and therefore allow them to comfortably perform tasks such as eating, reading or watching television. Further benefits associated with using this position include*:

  • Pressure relief to different areas of the body
  • Increase blood circulation to the lower body
  • Improved respiration
  • Provide comfort for individuals with gastrointestinal problems

It must be noted that whilst the ‘Anti-Trendelenburg’ position has various benefits associated with it, it should not be used for extended periods of time. To prevent individuals with cognitive impairments, such as dementia from using the function accidently, some profiling beds including the Medley Ergo and the Etude Plus offer the option of lockable handsets. These can enable various functions to be disabled during times when carers are not present.

(* Please note that the benefits outlined in this article are for guidance only and are not definitive nor do they aim to serve as medical advice. A healthcare professional should always be consulted prior to using an electric profiling bed and their features, for medical assistance.)