Posture and gait

Useful information can be obtained by observing a normal gait, which ranges from the brisk and erect to the slouched and shuffling. Abnormalities in gait should be carefully analysed as they may indicate a neurological (p. 194) or a locomotor disturbance (p. 265). Similar observations should be made about the posture of the patient silling or lying in bed. Much information may also be available by observing ihe bed itself and the surrounds, for example:

• Is there a bed cage, monkey rail, ripple mattress or other apparatus?

• Is oxygen in use or available for use?

• lias the patient been catheterised?

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