Choking: First Aid Procedures Everyone Should Know

Choking First Aid Australia

Accidents happen. And when they do, it’s important to have the knowledge and skills to handle the situation safely and effectively. This is especially true in cases of choking, which can be fatal if not treated quickly and correctly. That’s why we’ve put together a guide on choking: Choking First Aid Australia procedures everyone should know. Keep this information handy, just in case!

What is choking?

Choking is a sudden and potentially life-threatening situation where someone is unable to breathe because something is blocking their airway. When someone is choking, they will often make a gasping or wheezing noise as they desperately try to get air into their lungs. Choking can be caused by anything from food to a foreign object. If left untreated, choking can lead to brain damage or even death.

Choking hazards to be aware of

Choking is one of the leading causes of death in adults. Each year, about 3,000 people die from choking. While choking can happen to anyone, there are some things that increase your risk. The biggest risk factor for choking is age. The older you are, the more likely you are to choke on something. Another risk factor is being male. Men are more likely to choke than women. And finally, the third biggest risk factor is having a neurological disease, such as cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s disease. There are however, many things you can do to protect yourself from choking hazards and to help if someone else is choking.

First aid for a choking infant

If the infant is coughing, encourage them to keep coughing. If the infant can’t speak, cry, or make any noise, is clutching their throat, and their face is turning red, then they are choking and need help. Here are the steps to take: 

  1. Position yourself behind the infant. 
  2. With your palms facing down, place your hands around the infant’s waist. 
  3. Apply a quick thrust inward and upward against the abdomen until the object pops out. 
  4. If it doesn’t pop out, continue thrusting until it does. 
  5. Once the object is dislodged, have someone else call 911 or take the infant to the hospital immediately.

First aid for a choking child

When a child is choking, time is of the essence. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the following steps: 

  1. If the child is coughing or has a strong cough, encourage him or her to keep coughing. This will usually clear the object. 
  2. If the child is unable to cough and breathe at the same time, or if he or she becomes unconscious, perform Choking First Aid Australia for Choking. 
  3. If you are not able to dislodge the object using abdominal thrusts (Heimlich manoeuvre), call 911 immediately and continue First Aid until help arrives.

First aid for a choking adult

If the person is coughing and able to speak, don’t do anything. Stand by and monitor the person. If the person can’t speak or cough, and there is an object lodged in their throat, give them five back blows between their shoulder blades with the heel of your hand. If that doesn’t work, give them five abdominal thrusts. If the object is still lodged in their throat, continue alternating between back blows and abdominal thrusts until the object is dislodged. If the person becomes unresponsive, begins to have trouble breathing, or loses consciousness, call 911 immediately.

Choking is a leading cause of death, so it’s important to know how to properly administer Choking First Aid Australia in the event of a choking emergency. Remember to stay calm and take action if you see someone else choking – you may be their only hope.