How to be safe: the recovery position
Why use the recovery position?
• It keeps the casualty in a stable position with the airway clear
• It prevents the casualty’s tongue from blocking the airway
• It promotes drainage of fluids, such as blood or vomit, from the mouth
• It keeps the casualty in a safe position if they have to be left alone
• If the casualty was left on their back their tongue could relax and block the airway
This is the best position for a casualty who is unconscious and still breathing.
Position the arm nearest to you at a right angle.
Move the other arm so the back of the hand is against the cheek as shown in the diagram.
Pull the knee towards you, ensuring that the hand stays pressed against the cheek and position the leg at a right angle.
Check that the casualty’s airway remains open by tilting the head back and lifting the chin.
Monitor the casualty’s condition until help arrives.
Images courtesy of Think Safe (www.juniorcitizen.org.uk)