An object or piece of food that is stuck and blocks off the windpipe can result in choking. If the blockage remains, the casualty may lose consciousness; prompt first aid is important and life saving. Here’s a step by step approach to do when someone is choking in front of you.
Signs and Symptoms:
Sudden difficulty in speaking and / or in breathing, frequently accompanied by clutching, or pointing to the throat.
1. Give Back slaps
Give the casualty, five to six sharp back slaps. If the casualty coughs, encourage him/her to do. If she weakens or stops breathing, bend her forward. Stand behind her, give five back slaps, with the flat of your hand, between shoulders. Check the mouth.
2. Abdominal Thrusts
If the black slaps do not work, stand behind the casualty and place a clenched fist with thumb side in over the upper abdomen just below the ribs.
3. Give 5 Abdominal Thrusts
Grasp your fist and pull inwards and upwards, up to five times and then check the mouth.
4. Get Help
If unsuccessful, call an ambulance and keep repeating the sequence until help arrives.