How to give first aid to a choking victim

November 8, 2016 painremedies BackHow ToSigns and symptomsThroat

For some, choking is an ordinary incident that can be cured by simply coughing or drinking.  Choking happens when something (food, object) you swallow block the air path in your throat that will usually prevent the person to speak and breathe and eventually become unconscious.

But, did you know that each year, death caused by choking is continuously rising and most of its victims are children.

From the food intake, small objects or your own vomit, it can cause an obstruction to your airway and suffocate.

You can identify a choking victim if he or she:

  • Is having difficulty to breath
  • Cannot speak
  • Can’t do a simple coughing
  • Noisy breathing
  • Clutching their throats with both hands, mostly this is a sign that the victim is in a panic mood to catch air
  • Color of the face, fingernails, lips change from normal skin color to blue or gray, a sign that the victim losing oxygen.

Given first aid immediately can avoid unlikely circumstance of choking and this simple procedure is called the abdominal thrust or popularly known as the Heimlich maneuver.

Heimlich maneuver is named after Henry Judah Heimlich, an American thoracic surgeon who invented this technique to help a choking victim.

Heimlich maneuver is a simple procedure that even the young could learn, to save lives of choking victims.

Here are the simple steps of Heimlich maneuver:

  1. Ask the victim if he or she is ok and choking.
  2. Stand behind the choking victim and wrap your arms around their waist.
  3. With clasped hands, place your thumb against the victim’s upper abdomen.
  4. Your arms must be placed below the victim’s ribcage and above the navel.
  5. But pressure in the upper abdomen with a quick upward thrust. Force of the pressure must come to your hands.
  6. Do not squeeze the victim’s ribcage while putting pressure in the abdomen.
  7. Repeat this procedure (the thrusting) until the object blocking the victim’s airway comes out of their mouth.
  8. Check the victim if he or she is now breathing properly
  9. Be sure that while doing this maneuver, ask someone to keep on calling for a professional medical help if things will not work out.

Below is a video showing how to perform a Heimlich maneuver and you may save a life.

breathingheimlich maneuverthroatvideo instruction

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