Initial Assessment and Recovery Position

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Dealing with an Unconscious Person: First Aid Guidelines

1. Initial Assessment

When faced with an unconscious individual, whether in your capacity as a first aider or during any situation, follow these steps:

1.1 Stop, Think, Act

Before approaching, pause to evaluate the situation.

1.2 Identify Hazards

Search for potential dangers and obstacles in the vicinity.

1.3 Seek Assistance

Check for witnesses and call for help if available.

1.4 Introduce Yourself

Tap the patient's collarbone and request permission to assist if they're conscious.

1.5 Conscious Patient

If the person is awake, assess their condition while keeping them still and comfortable.

1.6 Unconscious Patient

If the person is unconscious, check for breathing and act accordingly.

2. Checking for Breathing

To assess breathing, follow these steps:

2.1 Open the Airway

Tilt the head back to clear the airway and examine for obstructions.

2.2 Chin and Forehead Technique

Place one hand on the patient's forehead and the other under their chin. Gently lift the chin and push the forehead back to open the airway.

2.3 Observe and Listen

Watch, listen, and feel for breathing signs. Continue this for up to 10 seconds.

2.4 Normal Breathing

If the patient is breathing normally, no CPR is required. Proceed to call for an ambulance if necessary.

3. Placing the Patient in the Recovery Position

If breathing is normal and there's no injury evidence, position the patient as follows:

  • Kneel beside the patient.
  • Ensure their legs are straight and together.
  • Place their near hand on the floor at a 90-degree angle from their body.
  • Hold their far hand with your hand closest to their head, interlocking fingers.
  • With your other hand, grab their far knee and pull it towards you, ensuring their foot is flat on the floor.
  • Check that the airway is open.
  • Tidy their leg to support them in the recovery position.

4. Monitoring and Seeking Help

Your role as a first aider involves:

4.1 Monitoring

Keep the patient comfortable and warm. Continuously communicate and monitor their breathing.

4.2 Calling for Assistance

If someone is present, ask them to find out when the ambulance will arrive.

4.3 Alone with the Patient

If you are alone and without a phone, leave briefly to call for emergency services. Always check the patient's breathing before and after leaving.