Well, kinda. Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you will know that first aid has had some revisions. One of these changes was to the recovery position. Until recently if you came to class, you would have seen and learned the HAINES recovery position. The theory for this was that it would help someone who had a spinal injury by putting less of a twist on their spine.

No more HAINES recovery position?

The problems with this were… well first of all, there was never any actual evidence that it does help people with spinal injuries. Sure, it sounds great in theory, but no one knows if it actually makes a difference in practice. Along with that, it was difficult to do without just rolling the casualty face down in the dirt. Which apparently, they don’t like much.

So, what’s the new teaching?

Well that’s the cool thing – the new training is ‘put them in recovery position’ but there’s no actual “you must do it like this” in the student’s books. You need to know the principles of the recovery position:

  • Airway not blocked by tongue
  • Chest positioning for easier breathing
  • Stable position on their side so they won’t roll back

But there’s no specific prescribed way to achieve this – it’s all class practice. You should also:

  • Support and protect their head when rolling them
  • Roll them all at once (head, body, legs all together)
  • Check ABCs after you have completed the roll.

Rolling a patient into Recovery Position

Come join us in class and test your practice on your own and as a team. Today we practised single rescuer and three rescuer teams; casualty on their back and casualty on their front. As we were at a gym, we also practised with casualties who had collapsed over various pieces of equipment. Hopefully your instructors take time to make the new training relevant to your needs.