Home Arusha The Recovery Position

The Recovery Position


The recovery position is as its name, is a specific position in which a recovering casualty is placed in allowing a safe recovery. It is an extremely important position to master for anyone who wants to be a good First Aider.

Why use the recovery position?

  • It keeps the casualty in a stable position with their airway
  • It prevents the casualty’s tongue from blocking their airway
  • It promotes drainage of fluids, such as blood or vomit, from their mouth
  • It keeps the casualty in a safe position if they have to be left alone
  • If the casualty was left on their back their tongue could relax, fall back and block their airway

Recovery Position for a Child or an Adult

(Note: A child is anyone over the age of one year old for the purpose of these instructions)

 An unconscious casualty who is breathing but has no other life- threatening conditions should be placed in the recovery position.

RecoveryPosition1 Bend one arm and keep legs straight.
RecoveryPosition2 Place back of victims hand on to left cheek and hold there.

Bend right leg till the foot is flat on the ground.

Keep holding the victim�s hand to cheek to support the head.

Pull the bent leg and roll the victim towards you.

Hand supports head.

Bent knee prevents rolling.

Bent arm gives stability.

Lift chin forward in open airway position and adjust hand under the cheek as necessary.

Check casualty cannot roll forwards or backwards.

Monitor breathing and pulse continuously.

If injuries allow, turn the casualty to the other side after 30 minutes.

Note: If you suspect spinal injury, use the jaw thrust technique. Place your hands on either side of their face. With your fingertips gently lift the jaw to open the airway. Take care not to tilt the casualty�s neck.

Recovery Position for a Baby

Note: A baby is considered to be less than one year old for the purposes of these instructions.

For a baby less than a year old, a Modified Recovery Position must be adopted.
Cradle the infant in your arms, with his head tilted downwards to prevent him from choking on his tongue or inhaling vomit.
Monitor and record vital signs – level of response, pulse and breathing until medical help arrives.