If a victim is breathing and responsive, leave the person in the position found or a position of comfort until help arrives, unless you must move him or her to be safe. If a victim is unresponsive and breathing, however, you should place him or her in the recovery position.
The HAINES (High Arm In Endangered Spine) recovery position helps keep the airway open, allows fluids to drain from the mouth and prevents the inhalation of stomach contents if the victim vomits. If possible, put the victim on his or her left side to reduce the risk of vomiting.
Recovery Position for Adults
- Extend the victim's arm farthest from you above the victim's head
- Position the victim's other arm across the chest
- Bend the victim's nearer leg at the knee
- Put your forearm under the victim's shoulder with your hand around the back of the neck to support the head and neck
- Carefully roll the victim away from you by pushing on the victim's flexed knee and lifting with your forearm while your hand stabilizes the head and neck; the victim's head is now supported on the raised arm
- While continuing to support the head and neck, position the victim's hand palm down with fingers under the armpit of the raised arm, with forearm flat on the surfact at a 90-degree angle to the body
- Bend both legs so the victim's position is stabilized
- With the victim now in position, open the mouth to allow drainage and monitor breathing
Recovery Position for Children
- Hold the infant
face-down on your arm with the head slightly lower than the body
- Support the head and neck with your hand, keeping the mouth and nose clear