Choking occurs when a foreign object becomes lodged in the throat or windpipe, blocking the flow of air. In adults, a piece of food often is the culprit. Young children often swallow small objects. Because choking cuts off oxygen to the brain, administer abdominal thrust as quickly as possible.

The universal sign for choking is hands clutched to the throat. If the person doesn’t give the signal, look for these indications:

  • Blue skin
  • Inability to talk
  • Inability to cough
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Difficult or noisy breathing

If you witness any of these signs in an adult or child victim you must act. Follow these steps…

  • Step1: Ask if they are choking and need help
  • Step 2: If they say yes, begin doing abdominal thrust (Heimlich Maneuver). If pregnant or very large do chest thrusts instead.
  • Step 3: If they go unconscious, lower them to the ground and begin the step of CPR. Every time you go to give a breath look for the object and remove it if seen.

If you witness an infant follow these steps…

  • Step 1: Hold the child facedown with his head lower than his body.
  • Step 2: Give 5 back blows with the heel of your hand between his shoulder blades.
  • Step 3: Turn the baby over and give 5 chest thrust.
  • Step 4: Continue until the item comes out or the baby becomes unconscious. If the baby become unconscious lay him down and begin the steps of CPR.

If you would like to learn more about how to do abdominal thrust and/or CPR give us a call to set up an appointment today!