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Supine Position

Supine Position Pronunciation: Su-pine (soo-pīn)

Definition: The supine position is a term used to describe the position in which a person is lying flat on their back, face and torso facing upwards.

What is the Supine Position?


The supine position is typically used in medical and therapeutic settings. In this position, the patient lies flat on their back with their face and torso facing upwards. This allows healthcare providers clear access to the front of the body for examination, treatment, or surgical procedures.

Key Facts about the Supine Position:

  • The supine position is often used during surgical procedures, physical examinations, and certain exercises.
  • It provides clear access to the chest and abdomen, making it useful for procedures such as CPR, ultrasound scanning, or surgery.
  • Patients with certain medical conditions may need to avoid the supine position, as it can exacerbate symptoms or complications. For example, some pregnant women may experience discomfort or shortness of breath when lying flat on their back.

Supine Position in Medical Practice

Usage of the Supine Position in Healthcare

In healthcare settings, the supine position is used to perform various procedures including CPR, physical examinations, and surgeries. It is also the starting point for many medical maneuvers, such as the logroll or moving a patient to a different position.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Supine Position

What is the difference between supine and prone positions?

The supine position involves lying flat on the back with the face upward, whereas the prone position involves lying flat on the stomach with the face downward.

What is the significance of the supine position in CPR?

In cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the supine position is vital. It allows the rescuer to perform chest compressions and ventilations effectively, facilitating blood flow and oxygen delivery to vital organs.


  1. Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Supine. Retrieved July 28, 2023, from
  2. Medical Dictionary. (2023). Supine Position. Retrieved July 28, 2023, from