Recovery Position

The recovery position is taught in basic first aid classes. It is a safe position in which to place an unconcious person who is breathing while medical help arrives. However, sometimes the casualty should not be moved at all (unless in a dangerous situation) except to ensure that his or her airway is open. For example, casualties with suspected broken bones should be moved as little as possible.

If the casualty is unconcious, breathing, and does not appear to have any injuries a first aider may decide to position the casualty in the recovery position until medical help arrives. This is a safe position because it ensures that the person's airway remains open and that he/she is in a stable position (unlikely to fall into another position that could possibly restrict his or her breathing).

The following video demonstration has been made available on YouTube by the British Red Cross. The Emergency Number given at the end of this First Aid video (999 in the UK) may be different in other countries.


What else is important to remember ?

In case of an accident or injury remember the DRABC Procedure.
The characters DRABC stand for:

  1. Danger
  2. Response
  3. Airway
  4. Breathing
  5. Circulation

It is useful to be aware of the DRABC routine for first aid (e.g. for a GCSE PE exam) but knowing how to describe and explain the DRABC steps is not the same as having the skills necessary to assess situations, assess the state of the casualty, check for breathing, check for a pulse and perform certain techniques.
It is a good idea to do First Aid Training and keep your skills up to date by refreshing your knowledge as frequently as recommended - which depends on the course you take.

A qualified person e.g. a teacher or coach would probably be present to deal with an emergency in a school or college situation - assuming, of course, that he or she were not the casualty.

In the UK of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland First Aid should be available at workplaces and organized events under the terms of the Health and Safety at Work Act (other countries may have similar or equivalent legislation).

This is the end of the page about the recovery position for GCSE Physical Education (GCSE PE).

See also other pages in this section listed top-right and the effects of exercise on muscles and the effects of exercise on circulation.

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