When someone starts choking, it’s important to act quickly before they lose consciousness. Choking most often occurs on food, and if it’s not treated in time, the person can die from lack of oxygen. Learn Choking First Aid Australia in this guide so you can keep yourself and others safe during an emergency.
If the person is unconscious, but is still breathing, do not perform the Heimlich Maneuver. Instead, place one hand under the person’s jaw and neck and pull up on their chin with your thumb and forefinger.
With your other hand, push down on the abdomen just below their breastbone. This should force any air from their lungs that is preventing them from breathing. You can also give back blows by placing both hands around their stomach and pushing out as if you are trying to bear hug them.
Repeat these steps until they start coughing or resume normal breathing. Remember that this will only work for people who are conscious and able to take a breath when you release pressure from their chest.
The safest way to help someone who has been choking is through the Heimlich Maneuver. Once they have stopped choking, it’s important to keep an eye on them for at least 15 minutes because of risk of re-choking during this period of time.
Perform Heimlich Maneuver
The Heimlich Maneuver is an emergency technique that can be used on a person who’s choking. The procedure involves pressing on the diaphragm area, just above the stomach, which forces air out of the lungs and can dislodge any food particles. The following steps should be followed if choking occurs:
- Ask if they’re choking and then ask them what they’re eating or drinking (in case you need to know)
- Place your hands around their waist
- Make a fist with one hand
- Place your other hand over the fist
- Push quickly with both fists
- Repeat until object has been dislodged
- Encourage victim to cough after heimlich maneuver
- Provide comfort as needed
If you need to administer CPR, it’s important to keep these five points in mind. The most important thing is to stay calm and don’t panic if things don’t go as expected. If someone has been choking, they will have difficulty breathing, coughing or making sounds due to the obstruction in their throat.
Chest compressions should be administered for about two minutes before giving them a breath of air. If chest compressions do not clear the blockage, perform back blows by placing your hands on their abdomen and give quick thrusts upwards until it moves up into their mouth.
Administering abdominal thrusts should only be done after performing chest compressions.
If you don’t know how to help someone who is choking, tell them I’m going to help you, don’t worry, and then perform the Heimlich maneuver. If the person is older or heavier than you, try a chest thrust first. When performing the Heimlich maneuver, use your fist (instead of your fingers) to push with quick upward thrusts into their abdomen and therefore you need to learn Choking First Aid Australia course/training.