Spectator Safety First Aid Level 2 (VTQ)

61 videos, 3 hours and 4 minutes

Course Content

The Recovery position

Video 20 of 61
3 min 23 sec
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When you come across a situation or in your role as a first aider, you are called to deal with someone who is unconscious, you will need to call for help and try to find out if someone has witnessed what has happened.

First, you will need to STOP, THINK and then ACT.  Look for hazards and make sure they are removed.  Look for other potential dangers and for things that may be in the way.

Make sure there is someone with you if possible, so you can send them away to call the emergency services if needed.

Introduce yourself to the patient, give them a little tap on the collarbone and see if there is any response ask permission to help. If they are conscious, you can talk to them to find out what has happened and stop them from moving while you assess them and decide what action to take.

If they are unconscious, make sure that they are breathing, if they are not, you will need to commence CPR.

To check for breathing, you will need to open the airway by tilting their head back, this draws the tongue away from the back of the throat and allows the air to pass. Place one hand on the patient's forehead and the other under their chin, have a quick look in their mouth to see if there is any obstruction.

Gently lift the chin and push the forehead back in a smooth gentle action. Look, listen and feel for breathing for up to 10 seconds, placing your ear close to the mouth listen and feel for breathing a look down the body for chest rise and fall. If they are breathing normally CPR is not required and you know the situation and can send someone to call for an ambulance, making sure that you tell them to come back to tell you when the ambulance will arrive.

To make sure that the patient's airway remains open and to ensure that they cannot choke on their own vomit, you will need to place them into the recovery position.

If available, put on your gloves and do a quick head to toe survey to check for any injuries.  Gently feel their shoulders, arms and chest for any deformity, blood or fluid.  Check that their legs are in a normal position and that there is no real damage to the hips or legs.

When the check is complete and you have found no evidence of any injury, the patient should be placed in the recovery position as follows.

  • Kneel next to the patient
  • Ensure the legs are straight and feet together
  • Take the hand nearest to your and place it on the floor at 90 degrees to their body. They will end up wresting their head on this arm.
  • Take the hand furthest away and hold it in your hand that is nearest to their head. Interlocking fingers and bring across their body and hold against their cheek that is nearest to you. Do not let go
  • With your other hand, grab their knee furthest away from you, lift it to bring their foot flat on the floor and then using their leg as a lever and still supporting their head, pull them towards you so they are on their side.
  • Check the airway is open.
  • Tidy their leg so it supports them and they stay on their side.

From this point, your role as a first aider is to keep the patient, comfortable and warm, remember to speak to the patient and monitor them at all times to make sure that they are still breathing, keep talking to them at all times. If there is someone available to help ask them to find out when the ambulance will arrive.

If you are completely alone with the patient and don't have a phone, this is when you would need to leave the patient to go and call for the emergency services but make sure you check they are breathing when you leave them and when you return.