6 doctors weighed in:
Why shouldn't you lay a CHF patient supine?
6 doctors weighed in

Dr. Joseph Moore
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
3 doctors agree
In brief: Fluid shifts
When a person lies flat, blood that has pooled in the legs and abdomen (from gravity) returns to the heart.
The extra volume typically causes no problems for healthy persons. In pts with heart failure (chf), however, the failing heart cannot pump the extra fluid so the pressures in the chambers increase. Blood backs up into the lungs causing trouble breathing. This is relieved by sitting up.

In brief: Fluid shifts
When a person lies flat, blood that has pooled in the legs and abdomen (from gravity) returns to the heart.
The extra volume typically causes no problems for healthy persons. In pts with heart failure (chf), however, the failing heart cannot pump the extra fluid so the pressures in the chambers increase. Blood backs up into the lungs causing trouble breathing. This is relieved by sitting up.
Dr. Joseph Moore
Dr. Joseph Moore
Thank
Dr. Francis Uricchio
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath in the CHF patient is due to elevated pulmonary artery pressures.
Pulmonary artery pressures are more elevated in the supine position as compared to the seated or upright positions. In a patient who is adequately treated, the supine position is not a problem. In a patient who is inadequately treated (decompensated), the supine position will make shortness of breath worse.

In brief: Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath in the CHF patient is due to elevated pulmonary artery pressures.
Pulmonary artery pressures are more elevated in the supine position as compared to the seated or upright positions. In a patient who is adequately treated, the supine position is not a problem. In a patient who is inadequately treated (decompensated), the supine position will make shortness of breath worse.
Dr. Francis Uricchio
Dr. Francis Uricchio
Thank
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