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First Aid: Recovery Position:Emergency Conditions

The recovery position may need to be used in many conditions that need first aid, such as unconsciousness. It should not be used when a person: Is not breathing; has a head, neck, or spine injury; or has a serious injury.

To Put a Person in the Recovery Position

  1. Kneel at his or her side.
  2. Turn the person’s face toward you. Tilt the head back to open the airway. Check the mouth if the person is unconscious and remove false teeth or any foreign matter.
  3. Place the person’s arm nearest you by his or her side and tuck it under the person’s buttock.
  4. Lay the person’s other arm across his or her chest. Cross the person’s leg that is farthest from you over the one nearest you at his or her ankles.
  5. Support the person’s head with one hand and grasp his or her clothing at the hip farthest from you. Have him or her rest against your knees.
  6. Bend the person’s upper arm and leg until each forms a right angle to the body. Pull the other arm out from under his or her body. Ease it out toward the back from the shoulder down. Position it parallel to the person’s back.
  7. Make sure the person’s head is tilted back to keep the airway open.
American Institute for Preventive Medicine Written by American Institute for Preventive Medicine

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