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Checking Airway is clear

Jenny Bourne - Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How do you after calling the emergency call centre check the casualty's airway is clear?

How are you feeling when you have found an unconscious person and have called the emergency call centre? Maybe a little or lot anxious and feeling how do you need to do the next step which is to check the airway is clear.
If you suspect they may have a neck injury or fracture or broken neck then lift their jaw forward by placing your thumbs at the angle of their jaw about 5 -6 cms below their ears and moving thier jaw forward without moving their head back. Then look in their mouth and remove any loose teeth, loose dentures, food or other things.
Otherwise hold their head with one hand on their forehead and tilt their head back and hold their chin with the other hand so that your thumb is on one side of their face as far back as you can and your first finger (or pointer ) is on the other side of their chin and your other three fingers are curled in towards your palm in a pistol grip. So that you are have contact with their chin from the tip of your thumb to the tip of your first finger and open their mouth. Look in their mouth is there anything in their mouth other than their tongue and that all their teeth are still attached. So no loose teeth or no loose dentures or no food or any other thing in their mouth and if there is something in their mouth then it needs to be removed. Roll the casualty on their side and remove the loose teeth, dentures, food or other thing from their mouth.
To roll the casualty place one arm straight up beside their head so that their ear is on their upper arm, and place the other arm across their chest bent at right angles at the elbow, bend up the leg at the knee on the same side as the arm across the chest . You are on the same side as the bent leg. Then place your hand closest to their head on their shoulder that is closest to you and other hand on their hip on that same side and then roll them to the other side. Adjusting their bent arm so that their upper hand is out and in natural position. Tilt  their head back to maintain a clear  airway.
The casualty is now is safe stable lateral position or recovery position.

In the next blog is about checking for breathing. Unitl then be safe.
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