Choking has cropped up in the news again too many times recently, so we thought we would share the simple stages of what to do if you are ever faced with that situation. We asked Mark to talk us through the procedure.
‘Mark the Medic‘ or Mark Davis is the Director of @ABCMedical – a training and event medical service provider. Visit his website here where you can find out how to attend one of his first aid training courses. We have all trained with him and can recommend his first aid courses.
Choking is one of the most common life threatening emergencies that can happen to children in the home. It is an emergency where immediate assistance is required; this will be done by family members around at the time. This is not an emergency that can wait for an ambulance.
The following procedure should be used for children:
1. Encourage the child to cough. This is to establish if the airway is completely blocked. If the casualty can cough or is able to answer your question, encourage coughing. This should remove the object.
2. If the child is unable to cough you will need to give 5 firm slaps on the back. Lean the child forward or across your lap. With the heel of your hand give up to 5 firm slaps between the shoulder blades. Encourage the child to cough while you do this.
3. If back slaps don’t work you will need to give abdominal thrusts. Stand behind the child; place your arms around the child. Make a fist and place it below the rib cage and above the tummy button. Place your other hand over the top. Give up to 5 firm inward and upward thrusts. If this doesn’t work repeat steps 2 and 3.
4. If the child becomes unconscious check the airway and breathing and start CPR if they are not breathing.
The following procedure should be used for babies:
1. Lay the baby over your lap face down with their head lower than their body. With the heel of your hand give up to 5 firm slaps between the shoulder blades.
2. Turn baby over and give up to 5 firm chest thrusts with two fingers in the centre of the chest. If this doesn’t work repeat steps 1 and 2. Never perform abdominal thrusts on a baby. If the baby becomes unconscious check the airway and breathing and start CPR if they are not breathing.