In many emergency situations, the stable lateral position is enormously important and can even save lives. A driving test is usually the first time you come into contact with the stable lateral position. But what has remained in your head? We refresh your knowledge.
What exactly is the stable lateral position?
The main purpose of the stable lateral position is to ensure a free airway. In addition, lateral positioning can ensure that vomit or blood can drain
properly. In emergency situations, this can help an unconscious person to breathe.
If a person is unconscious, the airways may be restricted and the person may have difficulty breathing. It is not unusual for a person to become unconscious. Unconsciousness can quickly occur due to various influences. These include, for example, serious accidents or circulatory problems. In the worst case, respiratory arrest can also occur.
The stable lateral position is intended to help prevent this from happening. This can save lives in many situations. But when exactly do you use the recovery position? It depends on a few small things. And indeed, a stable lateral position is not recommended in all situations.
When do I have to use the recovery position?
The recovery position is not always the right solution in emergencies, because it depends on the situation. In principle, the recovery position should only be used on unconscious people. But this is not always correct. It is also not advisable to use the recovery position on unconscious people who are breathing rapidly. In this case, it is better to use resuscitation measures.
Another sign for the application of the stable side position is when the affected person is threatening to suffocate. Then it is absolutely necessary to lay the person on their side. The airways are cleared and the person gets better air.
If injuries to the back or spine are visible, it is better not to lay the affected person on their side. Otherwise, the injuries may cause further injuries. Nevertheless, an unconscious person lying on his or her back should be observed closely. If the person starts vomiting or suddenly stops breathing, you should be able to react quickly. Thus, it is still important to stay in the immediate vicinity while waiting for further help.
How exactly do I apply the recovery position?
People who have a driving licence usually had to take a first aid course. However, a lot of things are forgotten after a short time and only a little remains in the mind. To avoid making mistakes in emergency situations, it is enormously important to refresh your knowledge again and again. If you find yourself in an emergency situation where the application of a stable lateral position is required, follow the instructions below.
Instructions for the stable lateral position
In the first step, you should check whether the affected person is still conscious and whether breathing is present. If there is no breathing, then you should immediately perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. If the person is unconscious and breathing, you can apply the recovery position.
To do this, first kneel sideways next to the affected person. Then stretch out the legs of the person concerned and place the arm closer to you bent on the floor. The palm of the hand points upwards.
In the next step, grasp the wrist of the far arm of the unconscious person. Then cross the arm in front of the affected person’s chest and place the hand against the cheek. You should continue to hold the hand firmly and not let go.
Then reach for the thigh lying further away and place the leg bent. The hand remains on the thigh. Then slowly pull the person towards you and place the leg at a right angle to the hip.
In the next step, tilt the head backwards so that the airways are clear. Then open your mouth slightly and point your mouth towards the floor. This makes it easier for vomit or blood to flow out. The hand resting on the cheek should be directed in such a way that the neck continues to be tilted backwards and the airways remain free.
If the affected person is finally lying on his or her side, it becomes important to continue to observe the person. In addition, you should immediately call emergency number and request further help. Observe for breathing, consciousness and signs of life. If breathing stops, you should immediately start resuscitation measures.
Tips for the application of the stable lateral position
To avoid making mistakes and panicking in an emergency situation, here are a few important tips:
- Keep calm.
- Always check breathing.
- Check for further injuries, as well as vomiting and bleeding in the mouth area.
- The head should always be tilted backwards in the lateral position and the mouth should be slightly open.
- Dial the emergency number and request further help.
- In case of cardiac arrest, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Another tip is our TarisApp. Because with our TarisApp you can not only dial the emergency call, but also ask medically trained personnel in the immediate vicinity for help. This way, you can ensure professional first aid if you feel too insecure yourself or are unable to provide first aid. It can take up to 15 minutes for the paramedics to arrive. In this time, the affected person should be helped as best as possible. You can find out more about our TarisApp.
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- First Aid: What to do when my help is needed?
- Shock: What exactly happens in a state of shock?
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