An unconscious person, a person who is assessed on the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) at eight or below, in a supine position (on the back) may not be able to maintain an open airway as a conscious person would. This can lead to an obstruction of the airway, restricting the flow of air and preventing gaseous exchange, which then causes hypoxia, which is life-threatening. The recovery position refers to one of a series of variations on a lateral recumbent or three-quarters prone position of the body, in to which an unconscious but breathing casualty can be placed as part of first aid treatment.
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