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What should you do if someone is choking?

  • July 10, 2019
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Choking is a condition which occurs when wind pipe is obstructed. In adults, choking is mostly because of food obstructing the wind pipe and in children, foreign object is the culprit. One must act swiftly if someone is choking as it stops the oxygen supply to brain.

Here are the symptoms of choking. While choking, the person will find it difficult to speak and breathe; may develop squeaky sound while breathing; and may develop bluish discoloration of lips, skin and nails due to lack of oxygen. The person may lose consciousness.

A "five-and-five" approach is recommended as first aid in choking.

It includes 1) giving 5 back blows and 2) giving 5 abdominal thrusts; and alternating 5 blows and 5 thrusts till the obstructing material comes out.

1) Giving 5 back blows: Stand by the side of the patient, bend them forward slightly at the waist, give 5 blows between the two shoulder blades using the heel of your hand. 

2) Giving 5 abdominal thrusts: Standing behind the choking person, make a fist with one hand just above the naval and grasp it with other hand. Press hard into the abdomen with a quick, upward thrust — as if trying to lift the person up.

To make you well versed with the process, learn first aid and go through videos and other learning materials.

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Disclaimer: Don’t follow any suggestions in this article without consulting a qualified doctor

References
1. E-medicine Health. https://www.emedicinehealth.com/choking/article_em.htm#facts_on_choking
2. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-choking/basics/art-20056637.