Don’t be a choker – know how to handle choking

Knowing what to do if someone is choking could save a life. Stock image.

Remember how mom always used to tell you to chew your food properly?

Well, she did it for good reason.

Choking is never a fun experience and – if something gets properly stuck down your throat – it could be deadly.

In the event that someone is choking, Netcare 911 advises the following action:

Be certain that the victim is choking – and not suffering a heart attack or the like.

Choking victims will often point or gesture at their throats.

Give them five back blows to attempt to help them release the obstruction in the throat.

If this doesn’t work, perform the Heimlich manouvre by placing a fist with the thumb side against the victim’s abdomen, just above the navel. Grasp your fist with your other hand and press it into the abdomen with a quick inward and upward thrust.

Knowing how to perform the Heimlich manouvre could be very important. Stock image.

Continue with these thrusts until the object is removed or the victim becomes unresponsive.

If the victim becomes unresponsive, lower them to the floor and call emergency services before starting CPR.

Each time you open the airway to give a breath, look for an object in the mouth or throat and, if visible, reach in and remove it.

To relieve an airway obstruction in a responsive infant who cannot cry, breathe or cough, follow these steps:

Call emergency services immediately.

Support the infant’s head and neck and lay the infant face down on your forearm, then lower your arm to your leg for support.

Few things are scarier than an infant choking. Stock image.

Give five back blows between the infant’s shoulder blades with the heel of your hand.

If the infant still cannot breathe, roll the baby face-up onto its back while supporting the head and neck.

Give the baby five chest thrusts on its sternum (the middle of the chest) in the same location used for CPR.

Repeat these steps until the object is removed.

If the infant becomes unresponsive, begin CPR and look for the obstruction each time you give a rescue breath.



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Allan Troskie

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