How the Lateral Safety Position (LSP) Can Save Life

How the Lateral Safety Position (LSP) Can Save Life


    – Step 1: Secure the area

    – Step 2: Make sure the victim is breathing

    – Step 3: Place the victim in the Lateral Position of the Safety

    – Step 4: Notify Emergency Services

We can all be called upon to help a person in danger. It is therefore important to know the basic gestures, in order not to hurt the person even more, such as the lateral position of safety.

The lateral position of safety (also called PLS) must be used in case the victim is unconscious but breathing.

If not, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation should be used.

1. Secure the scene

First of all, it is important to secure the environment to avoid “over-accidents”. Indeed, helping a person must be done in a safe way: a rescuer who is injured is no longer of any help!

Depending on the situation, start by looking around and making the environment as safe as possible. For example, if the victim has been electrified, turn off the power. If you touch him before that, you will be electrified in turn.

In any case, never put yourself in danger to rescue someone.

2. Check that the victim is breathing

To know if you need to place the victim in a decubitus position, you must first check that he or she is breathing. To do this, you need to clear the airway: tilt the head back to prevent the tongue from falling down the throat.

    – Start by loosening the tie and the belt, opening the collar… You want to make breathing as easy as possible.

    – Place one of your hands on the forehead of the unconscious person, and gently tilt his head back.

    – At the same time, with the fingertips of the other hand, hold the tip of the chin (the bone, not the soft part), and lift it up. This will release the tongue.

    – Check the victim’s breathing:

        ◦ watch for his or her chest to rise and fall;

        ◦ place your cheek near his or her mouth to feel for breath;

        ◦ listen for the sound of breathing.

When you are sure the victim is breathing, place him or her in the safety side position.

3. Place the victim in the side safety position

    – Remove the person’s glasses if they are wearing them.

    – Bring the legs together so that they are in line with the body.

    – Grasp the arm closest to you, and bend the elbow so that it is at a right angle to the person’s head, palm up.

    – Grab the other arm, and put the back of the victim’s hand against their ear. Hold that hand with your own.

    – Take the leg farthest from you and bend it, keeping the foot on the ground.

    – Step back, and position yourself at the victim’s chest.

    – Keeping your hand on the ear, rotate the victim by pulling on the bent leg until the knee touches the ground.

    – Release your hand: hold his elbow to avoid dragging the head.

    – Place the bent leg so that the hip and knee are at right angles.

    – Open the victim’s mouth with your thumb and forefinger, without moving the head.

Check the victim’s breathing regularly.

4. Notify emergency services

Now that the victim is in the lateral position, he or she is no longer at risk of choking. It’s time to call for help, by calling EMS (15) or the fire department (18).


    – your telephone number;

    – the nature of the problem: illness, accident, etc.;

    – the possible risks: fire, explosion, etc.;

    – the precise location where you are: street, number, digicode if necessary;

    – the number of victims and their condition;

    – the care you have provided.

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