The life-saving handle ( overstretching the neck , " head tilt and chin lift " according to ERC guidelines) is an emergency measure that is used to clear and keep the airways of an unconscious person free . It is part of the emergency life-saving measures .
This measure is necessary because when unconsciousness occurs - unlike during sleep - the entire skeletal muscles including the tongue muscles slacken, which leads to an impairment of breathing in the unconscious person lying on their back : During the resting tone of the muscles, the tongue normally holds in the oral cavity , it sinks into the pharynx in the flaccid state following gravity , where it can relocate the larynx ( glossoptosis ). If left untreated, this usually leads to death from suffocation . In order to pull the base of the tongue forward and thus clear the airways again, the neck of the unconscious person is hyperextended.
- RW Koster, MA Baubin, LL Bossaert et al .: European Resuscitation Council Guidelines for Resuscitation 2010: Section 2. Adult basic life support and use of automated external defibrillators. Resuscitation. 2010 Sep 15. PMID 20956051