What is choking?
Choking occurs when the airways get blocked as a result of inhaling something accidentally. Food, sweets and small objects such as Lego and tops of pens are common causes of choking.
Symptoms of choking include:
- the casualty being unable to cough
- grasping at the throat
- Showing distress / panic
- reddening of the face
- pale skin and cyanosis in later stages
- Place your arms around the casualty’s waist.
- Make a fist and place your fist between their belly button and the bottom of the ribs
- Grasp your fist with the other hand and pull sharply inwards and upwards. This generates a forced cough.
- Repeat this up to 5 times. I this fails to dislodge the object, return to back blows and give up to 5 more.
Please note: Do NOT attempt abdominal thrusts on infants under the age of 1. Please use chest thrusts instead. To perform chest thrusts place two fingers in the centre of the infants chest on the bone (sternum) and push down sharply.