The recovery position is a standard first aid procedure which is used when a person is unconscious but breathing normally. This ensures that their airways stay clear and that they will not choke should they vomit or cough up any fluids.
The first thing to do is to check their airways to ensure that there is nothing already blocking them. Kneel down on one side of your patient and place the hand nearest to you upwards towards their head at a right angle. Tuck the other hand underneath the face at the cheek with their hand facing upwards towards the head. Then, bend the knee farthest from you at a right angle and use this knee to gently roll them towards you onto their side.
This position allows the hand underneath the face to support the head while you roll them and the other hand prevents you from rolling them too far forward. Open the airways by tilting the head back and lifting the chin. Check inside the mouth to ensure nothing is stuck or there is no fluid in their mouth. If there is something, you should try to dislodge it with your little finger, taking care not to push it in further.
Begin monitoring their breathing and pulse rate until emergency services arrive. After 30 minutes, turn the person onto the other side using the same technique, provided they are not injured on that side. If the person is unable to move their neck, there is a large head injury, particularly on the back of the head, or there are signs of a twisted neck or back, they may have a spinal injury. In this case, you should not attempt to move them, unless they are choking or it is absolutely necessary.
Accidents and injuries
Putting someone into the recovery position may be necessary if someone falls, has a head injury and is unconscious or if someone collapses in a faint. Accidents and injuries can happen anywhere; it could be at work, in a public building or in an establishment such as a restaurant. It may even occur on public transport.
Should you have an accident like this but someone else was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation. This may be because the health and safety regulations were not followed resulting in your injury or it could be due to someone else directly causing the accident (e.g. road traffic accidents). If you wish to hold the person liable for their mistake, you can do so with Accident Advice Helpline’s assistance. We are a law firm which specialises in personal injury compensation where there is evidence someone else was at fault and can help you win a cash payout for your suffering and inconvenience. Give us a call on 0800 689 0500.
Date Published: October 2, 2014
Author: David Brown