If someone is unresponsive and breathing then you need to turn them onto their side and into the recovery position, to keep their airway open so they can still breathe.
Unconsciousness can be defined as 'an interruption in the normal activity of the brain'. Unlike sleep, unconsciousness can disable the body's natural reflexes such as coughing or gagging.
If someone is unconscious and laying on their back, their airway can become blocked by the:
For this reason, unconscious casualties take priority and need urgent help.
Placing a casualty in the recovery position protects the airway from both of these dangers. The tongue will not fall backwards and vomit will run out of the mouth.
Call 999 for emergency help and monitor the casualty's breathing.
If you suspect that they might have a spinal injury and need to place them in the recovery position because you cannot keep their airway open, do your best to keep their spine as straight as you possibly can.