Video 21 of 46
2 min 43 sec

Choking First Aid: How to Clear an Obstruction

Recognizing Choking

Life-Threatening Condition: Choking poses a grave risk to life and requires immediate attention.

Assessment: Begin by asking, "Are you choking?" Assess the person's ability to breathe or speak.

If they can breathe or cough, allow them to continue trying to clear the obstruction.

If they cannot breathe or speak, follow the steps below to provide assistance.

Treatment Steps

Activating Emergency Services (EMS)

Immediate Action: In cases of severe choking, activate EMS by calling for professional help.

For Adults and Children

Positioning: Stand behind the choking victim.

Technique: Place one foot between the victim's feet and the other foot behind you.

Back Slaps: Administer 5 back slaps between the patient's shoulder blades.

Abdominal Thrusts: Position the flat side of your fist just above the patient's belly button. Grasp your fist with your other hand and pull inwards and upwards.

Continuation: Alternate between back slaps and abdominal thrusts until the obstruction is cleared or the patient loses consciousness.

CPR: If unconsciousness occurs, initiate CPR immediately.

Post-Treatment: Advise the patient to seek medical attention, even if the obstruction is successfully cleared.

For Infants

Technique: Administer 5 back blows and chest thrusts using two fingers as demonstrated.

Continuation: Repeat the procedure until the obstruction is cleared or the infant becomes unconscious.

Special Circumstances

Pregnancy or Large Patients: If the patient is pregnant or too large to reach around, use chest thrusts by placing your fist in the middle of the chest.

Note: Never practice abdominal thrusts on a real person to avoid injury.