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Jaw Thrust

Jaw Thrust Pronunciation: jȯ thrəst

Definition: The jaw thrust is a technique used to open the airway of a person who is unconscious or semi-conscious and may have a cervical spine injury. It involves manually lifting the lower jaw to move the tongue away from the back of the throat, thereby opening the airway and making breathing easier.

Frequently Asked Questions About Jaw Thrust

How do you perform a jaw thrust?

To perform a jaw thrust:

  • Kneel above the person’s head and place your elbows on the surface on either side of their head.
  • Using your fingers, grasp the angles of the lower jaw and lift it upward. Do not tilt the person’s head or neck.
  • If the mouth does not open, use your thumbs to gently open it.

When should a jaw thrust be used?

The jaw thrust should be used when an unconscious or semi-conscious individual needs their airway opened, but there is a suspicion or potential for a cervical spine injury. This technique is designed to minimize movement of the neck.

Is the jaw thrust method safe?

Yes, when performed correctly, the jaw thrust is a safe method to open an individual’s airway. However, if the person becomes conscious or semi-conscious while you’re performing a jaw thrust, they may become combative or uncomfortable. In this case, you should stop the technique.