Conscious Choking

Conscious Choking:

Over 4,000 choking related deaths occur each year, with the young and elderly being the most at risk. The key to helping someone if they are choking is immediately recognizing if they are in trouble.

Common signs of choking are:

  • One or both hands on their throat.
  • Look of panic, shock, or confusion.
  • Inability to talk or cough.
  • Color changing to blue or gray.

If the person can cough, encourage them to keep coughing. If not, quickly take action and perform abdominal thrusts: 

  1. Stand behind the person.
  2. Wrap your arms around the waist and tip the person forward slightly. 
  3. Make a fist and put it just above the person’s navel. 
  4. Grasp your first with your other hand and press into their stomach with a quick, upward thrust, as if you’re trying to lift the person up. 
  5. Give about five abdominal thrusts, then check to see if the blockage has been cleared. 
  6. If the blockage has not cleared, repeat as needed.

If the person is pregnant, or you can not get your arms around their stomach, you will need to give chest thrusts instead: 

  1. Put your hands at the base of the breastbone. 
  2. Press hard into the chest with a quick thrust. 
  3. Perform five thrusts and check if the blockage is cleared.
  4. If the blockage has not cleared, repeat as needed.

If the person is not breathing, or doesn’t have a pulse, begin CPR and call 9-1-1 immediately. 

By utilizing these steps, you can effectively assist someone if they are choking. 

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