If You Think Someone Is Choking, What Should You Do?

When an object lodges in the neck or windpipe, it obstructs or blocks the flow of air, causing choking. Food is the most common cause of choking in adults. They either take too big a bite or don’t chew their food thoroughly enough. As a result, the meal becomes stuck somewhere along the way down. Choking can strike anyone at any age, but it is most common in people over the age of 60.

Choking is also more common among children under the age of five. It mostly affects children between the ages of one and three. Children, like the elderly, frequently choke on their meals. However, the object could be a toy, a coin, or any other small item.

Because the obstruction or blockage cuts off the brain’s air supply, it’s critical to provide immediate choking first aid. Even if you don’t have a CPR certificate, you should do all possible to assist. It will take too long for EMTs to arrive. Before you ever have to deal with a choking emergency, be sure you know what to do.

Choking: How Serious Is It?
Choking will happen to the majority of us at some point in our life. It isn’t likely to last long and isn’t dangerous. However, no one should ever think that choking would go away on its own. When the object that is causing the individual to choke becomes lodged, the condition can swiftly escalate into a hazardous and life-threatening emergency.

Choking has a 1 in 2,535 chance of killing a person in the United States. That’s a better chance than dying in an aircraft disaster or from an unintentional gunshot.

Choking is the fourth most common cause of mortality in children under the age of five. At least one youngster dies every five days from choking on food. Each year, about 12,000 people visit hospital emergency departments for nonfatal food-related choking incidents. In little children, almost any food can become a choking threat. The size of their windpipe is comparable to that of a drinking straw. CPR certification for caregivers, instructors, and daycare professionals is one approach to protect children from choking.

When children are eating, you should never leave them alone. Establish set meal times and require them to eat at the table while sitting up properly. Children should have quiet lunches where they can take their time. Because children are at such a high risk of choking, it is critical that they have someone with them who can give choking first aid in the event that the unthinkable occurs.

I’m not sure how to tell whether someone is choking.
When you observe an event while the individual is awake, it’s easier to judge the situation. The choking victim may display the universal choking symbol, which is both hands crossed at the throat. If they don’t, search for the following signs:

unable to communicate
It’s possible they’re trying to cough.
Having trouble breathing or making a noise while doing so
The skin, lips, and nails have a blue or dusky appearance.
Their skin becomes flushed and pale or bluish in tone.
If you suspect a youngster is choking, double-check before delivering first aid. When a youngster is choking, he or she will cough or produce a high-pitched sound. They are not choking if they are able to cough violently or speak.

If you fear someone is choking, ask them if they are. If they nod yes but are unable to react verbally, you have assurance that they are. Let them know you’ll be there to assist them.

What Should You Do If Someone Chokes?
If possible, encourage the sufferer to cough as forcefully as they can. You should employ a ‘five and five’ approach to first aid based on American Red Cross standards if they can’t talk or cough vigorously. Follow the steps below to get started:

5 blows to the back – Stand behind and to the side of the adult who is choking. Kneel down if the choking victim is a child. Bend over at the waist until their upper body is parallel with the floor, then place one arm across their chest for support. Give them five separate punches to the back between their shoulder blades with the heel of your other palm.

Perform five abdominal thrusts – This is the time to use abdominal thrusts (commonly known as the Heimlich manoeuvre) that you learned in CPR or First Aid certification training. To dislodge the object, perform five abdominal thrusts to drive air out of the person’s windpipe.

Alternate between 5 blows and 5 thrusts as needed – Alternate between the five back blows and the five abdominal thrusts until the thing is dislodged.
The blows to the back are not covered by anyone who teaches choking first aid. It’s fine to solely employ abdominal thrusts. If you’re not familiar with abdominal thrusts, follow these instructions to learn how to do them:

Make a fist with one hand while standing behind the individual. Make a fist directly above their navel with your fist.
With your other hand, grasp the fist. Using a rapid, upward thrust, press hard into their abdomen.
Abdominal thrusts should be performed until the object is dislodged or the person is rendered unconscious.
The person will stop breathing and become unresponsive if the object is not removed. Lower them to the ground on their backs with care. To test if you can find the thing, open their mouth. If you do, “sweep” it out with your finger. When working with an object that you can’t see, never utilize the sweeping technique.

Any choking victim who is not breathing will benefit from CPR. The chest thrusts help circulate blood while the rescue breaths deliver air to the lungs. Compressions of the victim’s chest may aid in the removal of the object from the victim’s airway. Check their mouth from time to time to see whether the object has moved.

Everyone in your company should be trained in CPR and first aid.
When someone is choking in front of you, there’s nothing worse than not knowing what to do. Choking can turn deadly in a matter of seconds, and it can happen to anybody, at any moment. What would you do if someone in your cafeteria or break room choked? What if you treated a high-ranking customer to dinner? Would you or your workers be able to administer proper choking first aid?

We come to your business or group to deliver CPR training to your personnel. They will be taught how to aid choking victims of any age preserve their lives. Assist in making your workplace a safer and more productive place for your employees. Contact us today to learn more about our training programmes.