The condition of a collapsed or injured person may be made worse by movement: increasing pain, injury, blood loss and shock. However, a person lying in a hazardous area, for example on a road or railway, may need to be moved to ensure safety.
A rescuer should move a person when needed to:
An unresponsive person who is breathing normally is positioned into a lateral, side-lying recovery (lateral recumbent) position as opposed to leaving them supine.
It is reasonable to roll a face-down unresponsive person onto their back to assess airway and breathing and initiate resuscitation. Concern for protecting the neck should not hinder the evaluation process or lifesaving procedures.
Ideally, the most experienced rescuer should take charge and stay with the person in need while another rescuer is sent to seek help. If movement is necessary and help is available, the rescuer in charge should explain clearly and simply the method of movement to the assistants, and to the person in need if they are conscious.
When ready to move the person in need:
There are a variety of ways to move or lift a casualty. The following is a list of the more commonly used manual handling techniques:
Used when the casualty is in danger and needs to be moved quickly. This is dangerous to all involved. Drag the casualty using an ankle drag or arm/shoulder drag, avoiding movement of the casualty’s neck and spine. Always support the casualty’s head.
This is used for the casualty who can walk and support their own weight on both legs. The casualty places one arm across the first aider’s shoulders and the first aider places one arm around the casualty’s back.
This is normally used for children. The first aider carries the casualty in both arms.
The casualty is placed on a strong blanket that can be carried by two or more people.
Two Handed Seat
The hands of two first aiders are interlocked, and the casualty can sit on the first aiders hands, placing their arms around the first aiders shoulders for further support.