Position the casualty in the position of comfort if he is conscious.
Most personnel will request to sit up. This acceptable if the tactical situation permits. If the casualty is unconscious and can not protect his own airway, place the casualty in the recovery position.
a. On Side.
Positioning the casualty on his side aids in maintaining an open airway and helps fluids to drain from the casualty’s mouth.
There is controversy over which side to lay the casualty on. Your local protocols should dictate this. Figure 3-6 shows a casualty in the recovery position lying on his injured side. Pressure from contact with the ground acts like a splint and helps to reduce pain. Since the pressure is on the casualty’s injured side, the other (uninjured) lung is not restricted and can inflate fully during inhalation.
b. Sitting Up.
The casualty may wish to sit up.
If he can breathe easier when sitting up than lying on his injured side, allow him to sit up with his back against a tree, wall, or other stable support. If the casualty becomes tired, position him in the recovery position.