The Recovery Position (lateral position)

If the casualty is unconscious but breathing and has no other life-threatening conditions, they should be placed into the recovery position. This allows the tongue to fall forward, to achieve and then maintain an open airway to assist breathing. It also allows the drainage of blood, saliva, vomit etc and helps prevent an airway blockage.

Step One

Kneel beside the casualty between their shoulder and hip.

Place the casualty’s arm at 90 degrees to their body.

Step Two

Place the casualty’s other arm across their chest, placing their hand onto the opposite shoulder.

Step Three

Lift and bend the casualty’s nearest leg by lifting under the knee.

Step Four

Support the head and neck, as a possible spinal injury cannot be eliminated and should be considered as a possibility when treating any unconscious casualty.

Step Five

Gently roll the casualty away from you, using the casualty’s knee and shoulder as leverage points, then place their hand under their chin for further support.

Step Six

Gently tilt the casualty’s head back with the casualty’s face sloping downwards. This allows blood, saliva, and vomit to drain away.

NOTE: Place all pregnant women onto their left side if their injuries permit.