You’re having a wonderful meal with friends, laughing and joking.
Suddenly one of the group stands up clasping at her throat and unable to speak.
Are you choking? Someone asks her, she nods frantically.
What will you do?
Firstly, you should encourage them to cough, this will hopefully dislodge whatever is choking them or causing the obstruction.
If that doesn’t work, provide reassurance that you’re going to help.
Get them to lean forwards and support them with your arm, then standing slightly to one side, give up to 5 sharp blows between their shoulder blades with the heel of your hand.
If this still hasn’t worked, be prepared to give up to 5 abdominal thrusts.
You must stand behind the casualty, bring your arms around their waist and bend them forward, create a fist with one hand and clasp the other hand around it.
Pull sharply inwards and upwards between their tummy button and the bottom of the breast bone.
Do this up to 5 times
Call for Help
Still not working get someone to call 999 or 112, both these numbers work in the UK and will connect you to the emergency services.
Get someone to tell the operator you have a choking casualty and what you’ve tried.
You must continue with 5 more back slaps and 5 more abdominal thrusts until, either the object is ejected, professional help arrives or the casualty stops breathing.
If they stop breathing you must immediately start Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and ask the emergency services for the nearest Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and the access code, then send someone to get it.
When ever abdominal thrusts have been administered, the casualty must be checked out at hospital in case damage has been done to internal organs.
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