What to Do In the Event of Choking
If the victim is conscious
1. Remove any food or loose false teeth from the mouth. (Do not try to locate the object with your finger.) Encourage the victim to cough; that may be enough to dislodge the blockage from the air passage.
2. If this fails, help the victim to bend over with his head lower than his chest. He can be either sitting or standing. Slap him between the shoulder blades with the heel of the hand up to four times. Each slap should be strong enough to dislodge the blockage.
3. Abdominal thrusts If the victim still cannot breathe, stand or kneel behind him. Clench your fist and put it, thumb inwards, between the navel and the bottom of the breastbone.
4. Hold your fist with the other hand and pull both hands towards you with a quick upward-and-inward thrust from the elbows. You are trying to pull the upper abdomen against the bottom of the lungs to drive out the remaining air and force the blockage out of the air passage.
Repeat up to four times. Each thrust must be hard enough to move the blockage.
Treating small children
1. Encourage the child to cough. If this fails, lay him over your knee with the head down. Support the chest with one hand and slap him smartly with the heel of the hand up to four times. Each slap should be strong enough to dis-lodge the blockage.
2. If the child is still choking, sit him on your lap and perform abdominal thrusts (steps 3 and 4 above) – but use only one hand so you don’t cause serious injury.
1. Lay the baby head down with the body lying along your forearm, using your hand to support the head and chest.
Slap the baby smartly between the shoulder blades with your fingers up to four times, using much less force than you would for an adult.
2. If the baby still does not start breathing, hold him on his back with the head tilted well back to open up the airway. Apply abdominal thrusts with two fingers of one hand, pressing quickly forwards and downwards just above the navel. Repeat the thrusts up to four times.
If the victim becomes unconscious
1. Start the kiss of life.
2. If someone else is with you, tell them to telephone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance. But if you are on your own, do not stop the kiss of life. Continue until the victim begins breathing normally again.
3. If the kiss of life does not inflate the lungs with the first two breaths, roll the victim onto the side nearest to you, with the chest against your thigh and the head well back. Give up to four strong slaps on the back.
4. Look in the person’s mouth to see if the blockage has become dislodged. If it has, hook it out with your finger.
5. If not-turn the victim onto his back and tilt the head well back. Straddle his thighs, or kneel alongside. Put the heel of one hand between the navel and the bottom of the breastbone.
6. Cover your hand with the other hand, and give a quick downward-and-forward thrust with your arms straight. Repeat up to four times.
7. Check the victim’s mouth to see if the blockage has been dislodged. If it has, hook it out with your finger.
8. If not, resume giving the kiss of life.
9. If the lungs do not expand after two breaths, go back to step 3 and repeat from there.