The Recovery Position

9th November 2023

The Recovery Position

This is the safe position for an unconscious person who is breathing.

Dr Michelle Wright explains and shows how to put an unconscious person over the age of one who is breathing, into the Recovery Position.

Step one

First you need to remove the person’s glasses – if they are wearing any. Then make sure that both of their legs are straight.

Step two

With you kneeling at the side of the casualty, move their arm that’s nearest to you out to their side, with the elbow bent and the palm upwards. A good way of remembering this is to think of the STOP sign.
Then, take the hand of their arm that is furthest away from you and move it across their chest so that the back of their hand is against their cheek. Your palm is touching their palm – palm to palm. You need to keep your hand here. They’re unconscious. If you let go of their arm, it will flop back to the side of their body.

Step three

With your other hand, bend their leg furthest away from you at the knee, pulling it up so that their foot is flat on the floor. Use their knee as a lever, making sure your other hand is still holding their arm in place against their cheek, and roll the person towards you onto their side. Adjust the upper leg so that the hip and knee are bent at right angles.

Step four

Check that their airway is open: make sure that their head is tilted back and their mouth is facing downwards so that any fluids can drain from their mouth.

Call for an ambulance

Call 144 for an ambulance in Switzerland. Stay with the person; keep them warm whilst you are waiting for an ambulance. And continuously monitor them to make sure that they are still breathing. If they stop breathing, roll them onto their back and start Basic Life Support. Health First offers a variety of first aid courses for every eventuality.

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