Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Mary Horan

Second Advisor

Dorothy Merrill

Third Advisor

Linda Bond


In a prospective experimental study, 24 high risk infants over 1,000 grams and under 5 days of age were observed and evaluated for the effects of positioning on the umbilical artery catheter, activity, and oxygen utilization. Infants were positioned right lateral, left lateral, supine and prone, for 2 hours in each position. The purpose of the study was to evaluate whether prone position opposed to other positions increased sleep state behaviors, reduced oxygen need, or created any complication for the umbilical artery catheter. Using a repeated measures design and repeated measures analysis of variance, it was found that positioning prone compared to right lateral, left lateral, and supine had no significant positive effect on oxygen utilization as measured by oximetry. As infants demonstrated a predominance of sleep state behaviors in all postures, the statistics planned to evaluate activity were not applicable and the level of significance could not be reported. No complications of the umbilical artery catheter were reported in any of the positions.


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