Recovery Position:


The biggest danger to the unconscious patient is airway obstruction. This may be caused by the patient lying flat on their back allowing the tongue to fall into a position where it obstructs air entering the air passages or through stomach regurgitation (vomit).

  • Manually immobilising the airway or placing your patient into the recovery position will prevent these two common dangers obstructing the patient airway.
  • Roll the casualty onto their side and gently tilt their head back to open their airway (head tilt, chin lift).


Recovery position for babies:

  • If an infant is unconscious but breathing normally, hold them on their side, head tilted, as if you were giving them a cuddle, with their head lower than their tummy.



  • DO NOT place anything in an unconscious patient mouth.
  • DO NOT place anything under the patients head whilst on their back.
  • DO NOT move the patient unnecessarily.
  • DO NOT take for granted the patients' airway is always maintained in this position.



We hope you find this article useful. This is one in an alphabetical series of articles addressing various symptoms and their first aid treatments. If you would like more information on related resuscitation and first aid training, please get in touch.


You might also be interested in our blog. In this particular post, Sheila Mithard explains why being a paramedic is like being a detective inspector.



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