The new recovery position, a cautionary tale

This source preferred by Gary Smith

Authors: Fulstow, R. and Smith, G.B.

Journal: Resuscitation

Volume: 26

Issue: 1

Pages: 89-91

In November 1992 the European Resuscitation Council issued new guidelines which included the description of a modified recovery position. Anecdotal reports have suggested that this 'new' position may result in obstructed venous return in the dependent arm. The findings of a small study to evaluate the 'new' recovery position are reported here. In a group of six healthy adult volunteers measurements of digital temperature, plethysmographic wave form and transcutaneous oxygen saturation were made in the previously favoured semi-prone recovery and repeated in the 'new' position. In the 'new' position 67% of the study group developed signs of venous or venous and arterial obstruction; no such complication was encountered when the same individuals were placed in the semi-prone recovery position. The need to position unconscious persons in some form of recovery position is emphasised, however, the suggestion that the semi-prone position be re-adopted is offered for discussion. Alternatively, adequate monitoring of perfusion and venous drainage in the dependent limb must be undertaken if the 'new' recovery position is chosen

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