12 Days of First Aid Tips: The Recovery Position

12 Days of First Aid Tips: The Recovery Position

Date: Thursday, 17 December 2015. -  
Blog, First Aid

Tis the season to be jolly and this often means that quite large quantities of alcohol are consumed. In the year 2013-14 over 297,000 people were admitted to hospital with injuries or conditions linked with alcohol consumption. Binge drinking not only puts individuals in a vulnerable position but they may also be at risk from alcohol poisoning and even choking on their own vomit.

In the 8th instalment of the 12 days of First Aid Tips, we will be looking at how the recovery position can protect individuals who have passed out due to intoxication.

8# The Recovery Position

The recovery position is an effective manoeuvre because it not only puts the casualty in a stable position, but it also opens their airway and allows fluids such as vomit to drain out of the mouth.

It is vital that the individual is placed in the recovery position to stop them from choking on fluids and to prevent their tongue from relaxing and blocking their airway.

Once in the recovery position, you should monitor the casualty’s breathing and if at any point they stop breathing you must ring an ambulance and begin CPR immediately.

How to put someone into the recovery position

  1. As the casualty is lying on their back, grab the arm closest to you, bend their elbow and lay their arm flat with their palm facing upwards recoveryposition1
  2. Take the arm that is furthest away from you and bring it across the casualty’s chest towards you. Place the back of the casualty’s hand across their cheek and hold in place recoveryposition2
  3. Using your free hand, reach across the casualty and raise the leg that is furthest away from you into a bent position so that their foot is resting on the floor recoveryposition3
  4. As you hold the casualty’s hand on their cheek, place your other hand on their bent knee and push down so that the casualty begins to roll on their side.
  5. Allow the casualty to completely roll over so that their cheek is now resting on the back of their hand. Adjust the upper leg at a right angle and open the casualty’s away by tilting their head back recoveryposition4


Stay safe this Christmas by catching up on our previous blog posts featured on the 12 Days of First Aid Tips.

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