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Choking

Nov 18, 2019

Choking can result in unconsciousness or cardiopulmonary arrest.

For children 12 months old or younger:

  1. Calmly sit down with the child in your arms.
  2. Supporting the infant’s head and neck with one hand, lay the infant face down on your thigh. The child’s head will need to be lower than her trunk.
  3. Forcefully but gently, deliver five back blows with the heel of your hand between the infant’s shoulder blades.
  4. Immediately, while still supporting the infant’s head, sandwich the infant between your hands and turn her onto her back. Again, the infant’s head will need to be lower than the trunk.
  5. Using two fingers, deliver five thrusts in the infant’s chest ( finger over breastbone at nipple line ).
  6. Repeat back blows and chest thrusts until item is dislodged.
  7. Continue until object is dislodged or until help arrives.
  8. Call ambulance.
  9. Don’t stick your finger in child’s throat to dislodge object. In most cases, this pushes the item further down the throat.

For anyone older than 12 months:

  1. Use Heimlich maneuver (see instructions below).
  2. Call ambulance.

If you have to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on a choking person, or yourself, it’s important that you know the correct procedure.

When performing the Heimlick Maneuver on a choking person:

  1. From behind the person, wrap your arms around his/her waist.
  2. Make a fist and place the thumb side of your fist against the victim's upper abdomen, below the ribcage and above the navel.
  3. Grasp your fist with your other hand and press into their upper abdomen with a quick upward thrust. Do not squeeze the ribcage; confine the force of the thrust to your hands.
  4. Repeat until object is expelled.

When performing the Heimlick Maneuver on yourself in a choking emergency:

  1. Make a fist and place the thumb side of your fist against your upper abdomen, below the ribcage and above the navel.
  2. Grasp your fist with your other hand and press into your upper abdomen with a quick upward thrust.
  3. Repeat until object is expelled.

Alternatively, you can lean over a fixed horizontal object (table edge, chair, railing, etc.) and press your upper abdomen against the edge to produce a quick upward thrust. Repeat until object is expelled. See a physician immediately after rescue.

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