Jaw Thrust: Best Suited When a Neck or Spine Injury Is Suspected

One way to open a person's airway is the jaw thrust. This technique should be used when spine or neck injuries are suspected which are typical of car accidents, falls, and some sports injuries. The advantage of the jaw thrust is that it minimizes movement of the head as compared to the more common head-tilt/chin-lift method.

Keep the head in the position found, grab the jaw using the corner of the jaw bone just by the earlobe, and pull the jaw upwards. This dislocates the jaw, and may cause them pain afterwards, but right now the most important thing is to open their airway. There is no need to do this if the person is already breathing on their own.

Whenever possible use a rescue breathing barrier, to reduce the chance of disease transmission.

Always call for advance medical help if you suspect someone has a spinal, neck, or head injury.

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