Recovery Position

An effective procedure to maintain the casualty's airway 

Purpose of a Recovery Position

After conducting a Primary and Secondary Survey, a casualty who is established as unresponsive but breathing normally, has to be placed in the Recovery Position.  The purpose of the Recovery Position is to manage the casualty's airway and prevent their tongue from falling towards the back of the throat, and protecting their airway from any fluids.  

Step 1

Kneel next to the casualty approximately in line with their chest. Grab hold of the nearest arm and gently bend the elbow allowing the hand to rest palm upwards.  

Step 2

Bring the casualty's opposite arm across their chest towards you, holding the hand palm to palm and placing the back of the casualty's hand on their cheek. 

Step 3

With your free hand, reach across the casualty's leg that is furthest away and pull it up from behind the knee, bending the leg ensuring the foot is flat to the floor. Keep hold of the hand on the casualty's cheek and then place your other hand on top of their knee.  

Step 4

Pull the knee towards you, allowing the casualty to roll all the way over to their side facing you. Adjust the upper leg from behind the knee so it's bent at a right angle. Tilt the head back to extend the airway. 

Step 5

Call an ambulance if not already done so. Continue to monitor the casualty's  breathing and circulation regularly and keep them warm. Be prepared to resuscitate the casualty if they stop breathing.  

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