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How to help a Choking adult

adult choking

One of the most frequent concerns is what to do if someone is choking. Choking is frightening, but rarely fatal.
·        Always check first to see if someone is able to cough and encourage them to do so as often they are able to clear the blockage themselves.
·        If they are coughing, let them cough.
·        If they are not coughing, remind them to cough as they may be able to clear the obstruction themselves.
If they are unable to cough:
·         Bend them forward supporting them on their chest with the other hand and use the flat of your hand to give a sharp back blow between the shoulder blades. Check to see if the blockage has cleared before giving another blow. If the blockage hasn’t cleared after five blows, try abdominal thrusts/Heimlich manoeuvre:

adult choking

If the back blows haven’t worked, I would get an ambulance on the way

adult choking - abdominal thrust·         Stand behind them and place one hand in a fist under their rib cage. Use the other hand to pull up and under to dislodge the obstruction. You are using a J-shaped motion to pull up and under their rib cage. Perform abdominal thrusts up to 5 times, checking each time to see if the obstruction has cleared. Anyone who has received abdominal thrusts must be seen by a doctor.
·         If the person is still choking, call 999 (or 112) and alternate five back blows and five abdominal thrusts until emergency help arrives. If at any point they become unconscious, commence CPR.

What to do when a child is choking

choking

·         Babies and young children can choke on anything that can fit through a loo roll. To prevent choking: keep small objects out of reach, cut up food into very small pieces and supervise children while they’re eating, especially if they’re under five years old.
·         If a child shows signs of choking, stay calm and ask them to cough to help remove the object. If this doesn’t work, follow the steps below to clear a blockage.

Choking: Unable to speak or cry, clutching their throat, struggling to breath
Helping a choking child over 1 year

back blows for choking
Bend the child forward, supporting them on their chest
·         with the other hand and use the flat of your hand to give a sharp back blow between the shoulder blades.
·         Check to see if the blockage has cleared before giving another blow.

If the back blows haven’t helped I would get an ambulance on the way

abdominal thrust
·          If the blockage hasn’t cleared after five blows, try abdominal thrusts/Heimlich manoeuvre:
·         Stand behind the child and place one hand in a fist under their rib cage. Use the other hand to pull up and under in a J shaped motion, to dislodge the obstruction. Perform abdominal thrusts up to 5 times, checking each time to see if the obstruction has cleared. Anyone who has received abdominal thrusts must be seen by a doctor.

Make a fist, put the thumb towards the child – do a J shaped movement up and under – between their tummy button and their rib cage.
·         If the child is still choking, call 999 (or 112) and alternate five back blows and five abdominal thrusts until emergency help arrives. If at any point the child becomes unconscious, commence CPR.

choking graphic

What to do when a baby is choking

Clearing a blockage – babies under 1 year

·        First look in the baby’s mouth and if there is something obvious in the mouth, remove it with finger tips.

DO NOT put your fingers down a baby or child’s throat, or finger sweep the mouth, as this can make matters worse by pushing the obstruction further down or by causing swelling.

choking baby back blows
·         Lay the baby downwards on your forearm or across your legs, supporting them under their chin and using the flat of your hand, give a firm back blow between the shoulder blades.

·          Give up to five back blows and check between each blow to see if the blockage has cleared. If the obstruction has not come out I would get an ambulance on the way

choking mannequin
·         If the blockage hasn’t cleared, lay the baby on their back, place two fingers in the centre of the chest just below the nipple line and give up to five chest thrusts.
Warning: Never do an abdominal thrusts on a baby under a year as you could cause damage.
·         Check to see if the blockage has cleared between each chest thrust.
·         If baby is still choking, call 999/112 and continue alternate five back blows and five chest thrusts until emergency help arrives.
·         If at any point baby becomes unconscious, commence CPR.

If the obstruction comes out:
If they are unconscious but breathing – put in the recovery position
If they are unconscious and not breathing start CPR
If they seem absolutely fine – ensure that they don’t have problems swallowing, check there is no pain or bleeding – it is always advisable to have them checked out by a medical professional. If it is not your child, ensure that you have contacted the parents.

If the child has been given abdominal thrusts or chest thrusts, they should always be checked by a medical professional

It is strongly advised that you attend a Practical First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency. Please visit roomy-fish.flywheelsites.com emma@firstaidforlife.org.uk or tel 0208 675 4036 for more information about our courses. First Aid for life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.

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