LIFE-SAVING TECHNIQUES – The Recovery Position

Life-saving techniques require a specific sequence. Any inappropriate or sloppy movements may only worsen the victim’s medical condition. Therefore, basic first aid training is highly recommended.

This is a basic technique used for a victim who is unconscious, is breathing, and does not have a spinal injury. If the person is not talking or responding to simple questions such as: “Are you okay?” “Open your eyes”, or “Squeeze my hand”, after having taken the necessary steps, and dialed or asked
someone to dial the emergency number, you must do the following:

• Kneel next to the victim and make sure that their legs are parallel to each other.
• Position the arm closest to you at right angles to the body.
• Bend the victim’s elbow while keeping their palm facing upwards.
• Take the victim’s other hand and place the back of it against their cheek (the one closest to you).
• Keep the palm of your hand against the back of their hand in order to stabilize the axis of the spinal column when you turn the victim on his or her side.
• With the other hand, grab the opposite leg (right behind the knee) and bend it while keeping the victim’s foot on the floor.
• Stay clear of the victim’s thorax to avoid pushing it backwards while repositioning the victim to his or her side.
• Turn the victim very gently. In order to do so, take the bent knee with one hand and turn the body progressively on its side until the knee touches the floor.
• Your other hand, which is kept on the victim’s cheek, must carefully be removed, once the victim is on the side.
• Adjust the upper legs so that the hip and the leg are at right angles. The position of this leg helps keep the victim stable.
• Open the victim’s mouth with your index finger and thumb, so that any fluids may be expelled. If vomiting occurs while in this position, the victim will run less risk of choking.
• Monitor the victim’s breathing while waiting for rescuers.
• Check again if rescue teams have been alerted.


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