If an injured person is unconscious – but breathing normally and has a pulse – you should place him or her in the recovery position to minimize the risk of suffocation.
The recovery position locks the body in a position that makes it difficult for the unconscious person to roll onto his or her back. The recovery position will also keep their airway clear and ensures that any vomit or fluid won't cause them to choke.
This is how you place someone in the recovery position:
- With the person lying on their back, kneel on the floor at their side.
- Extend the arm nearest you at a right angle to their body with their palm facing up.
- Take their other arm and fold it so the back of their hand rests on the cheek closest to you, and hold it in place.
- Use your free hand to bend the person's knee farthest from you to a right angle.
- Carefully roll the person onto their side by pulling on the bent knee.
- Their bent arm should be supporting the head, and their extended arm will stop you rolling them too far.
- Make sure their bent leg is at a right angle.
- Open their airway by gently tilting their head back and lifting their chin, and check that nothing is blocking their airway.
- Make sure the person is warm.
- Stay with the person and monitor their condition until help arrives.