Figure 3-1. Rolling a casualty onto his back.
OPEN THE AIRWAY
Once the casualty is in position for rescue breathing, open the casualty's airway
using either the head-tilt/chin-lift method or the jaw thrust method. Sometimes an
unconscious casualty who is not breathing or breathing in a weak manner will resume
normal respiration when his head is positioned correctly and his airway is opened. This
is especially true if the casualty's tongue is blocking the airway. The tongue is the most
common cause of airway obstruction in unconscious casualties. Repositioning (lifting)
the lower jaw forward lifts the tongue away from the back of the throat and unblocks the
airway. Establishing an airway should take between 3 and 5 seconds.
An unconscious casualty does not "swallow his tongue." The muscles of the
tongue simply relax and slide to a lower position which results in the pharynx