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CPR and the Recovery Position: Lifesaving Basics You Should Know


If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation involving drug overdoses, you’ll know that every second counts. Knowing CPR and the Recovery Position can be the difference between life and death. This article aims to equip you with these essential skills, so let’s dive in.

A Quick History Lesson

CPR, or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, is rooted in the 18th century but became a standard medical practice in the 20th century. The Recovery Position has been around for decades, evolving over time to become the lifesaving technique we know today.

The ABCs of CPR

CPR is a lifesaving technique used in emergencies like heart attacks or overdoses. Here’s how to perform it:

  1. Check Responsiveness: Shake the person and shout loudly.
  2. Call for Help: Dial 999 immediately.
  3. Compressions: Place your hands in the middle of the chest and push hard and fast.
  4. Breaths: Give two rescue breaths if trained to do so.

Tips for Effective CPR

  • Keep your arms straight.
  • Compress at least 5-6 cm deep.
  • Compress at a rate of 100-120 per minute.

“The community response to cardiac arrest remains critical to saving lives. Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) increase the chances of survival by two to four-fold and are a critical part of UK government’s strategies to improving survival from cardiac arrest.” – Resuscitation Council UK

The Recovery Position Unveiled

The Recovery Position helps to keep the airway clear and open. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Airway: Tilt the head back.
  2. Move Arm: Place the arm nearest to you at a right angle.
  3. Leg Up: Lift the far leg and place it over the other leg.
  4. Roll Over: Roll the person towards you.

“If a person is unconscious but is breathing and has no other life-threatening conditions, they should be placed in the recovery position. Putting someone in the recovery position will keep their airway clear and open. It also ensures that any vomit or fluid won’t cause them to choke.” – NHS

The British Context

The NHS strongly recommends learning CPR and the Recovery Position. Many organisations across the UK offer first aid courses, some even focusing on drug overdose situations.

Real-Life Scenarios

In the UK, there have been numerous instances where quick thinking and the use of CPR and the Recovery Position have saved lives during drug overdoses.

Common Misconceptions

  • CPR Always Works: It increases chances but is not a guarantee.
  • Recovery Position Causes Harm: If done correctly, it’s a lifesaver.


Knowing CPR and the Recovery Position is not just a good skill; it’s a potential lifesaver, especially in drug overdose situations. So, don’t wait. Get educated, be prepared, and you could save a life.