Choking is a dangerous condition that affects people of all ages. A piece of food, a child’s toy, or blood from an injury that becomes trapped in the neck might cut off a person’s breathing supply. The brain begins to die after four to six minutes without air. Quick action can save a life if someone is choking.
- 1 Is it possible to determine whether someone is choking?
- 2 What is the abdominal thrust maneuver, and how does it work?
- 3 What should I do if the person who is choking is unconscious?
- 4 How can I assist a choking baby?
- 5 Is there any danger in performing the abdominal thrust maneuver?
- 6 What can I do to avoid choking?
- 7 Additional Resources
Is it possible to determine whether someone is choking?
As he attempts to breathe, a choking victim will often place both hands on his throat. He won’t be able to communicate. Don’t be hesitant to provide assistance. His lips and nails will turn blue after a minute or two, and he may pass out. There’s a good likelihood the windpipe is clogged if someone is unresponsive and not responding to CPR. Examine his airway to discover if anything is obstructing it. If you see anything, use your fingers to try to remove it. If the person is conscious, don’t try this.
What is the abdominal thrust maneuver, and how does it work?
The abdominal thrust maneuver is a procedure for removing an object that is obstructing a person’s airway. It operates by blasting air upward via the windpipe. The American Red Cross recommends alternating five back blows with five abdominal thrusts.
For victims over the age of one year, the abdominal thrust maneuver consists of four essential steps.
- Take a step back and wrap your arms around the victim’s waist.
- Make a fist between the ribcage and the victim’s navel.
- With the other hand, grab one fist and quickly drive upward.
- Continue until the thing is removed.
If no one can help you and you’re choking, you can do a modified abdominal thrust maneuver on yourself. Place your fist on your upper belly, grab it with your other hand, and push upward until the thing comes loose. You can also press your upper abdomen against the back of a chair, a table, or another immovable object to do the thrusts.
Get medical treatment right away after you’ve dislodged the thing.
What should I do if the person who is choking is unconscious?
Straddle the victim around the waist and lay her on her back. Place one hand’s heel on her upper abdomen, the other on top of the first, and make numerous fast upward thrusts until the thing is evacuated. If she doesn’t answer, begin CPR right away.
How can I assist a choking baby?
Lay the newborn face down across your forearm, placing his head in your hand, using your lap or thigh for support. The infant’s head should be lower than the body and inclined downward. Deliver up to five quick hits between the shoulder blades with the heel of your other hand. If this doesn’t work, roll the baby over and rest him on your thigh or lap again while holding his head in your palm. Place your free hand’s forefinger and middle finger halfway between and just below the infant’s nipples. Up to five times, thrust straight down, compressing the chest by roughly 1 inch.
Five back blows and five chest thrusts should be repeated until the object is dislodged. If it doesn’t come free and the baby becomes unresponsive, stops breathing, or becomes blue, yell for help, perform infant CPR (if you’re trained), and dial 911. Never reach into an infant’s mouth to remove an object unless you can see it, and never when the youngster is awake.
Is there any danger in performing the abdominal thrust maneuver?
If you perform the abdominal thrust maneuver incorrectly, you risk cracking a rib or causing serious injury. Avoid putting too much pressure on the victim’s ribcage when performing the maneuver. There’s no cause to break ribs if you do the abdominal thrust maneuver correctly, with your arms just below the breastbone. Once you’ve ensured that your hands and arms are appropriately positioned, don’t be afraid to employ enough force to dislodge the item. Of course, only employ the abdominal thrust maneuver if you’re certain someone is choking and can’t breathe.
What can I do to avoid choking?
The greatest approach to avoiding choking is to make sure your children chew their food fully and slowly. Food for children should be cut into little pieces.
According to the CDC, 60 percent of children who are transported to the ER for nonfatal choking events are choking on food. Whole grapes, almonds, popcorn, and hot dogs are some of the most prevalent offenders. Coins, marbles, popped balloons, and small toys are all common choking hazards for young children.
Check out the Red Cross illustrated primers for performing the abdominal thrust technique on infants, children, and adults: