Treatment for Choking
The sign for someone whose choking is that they have their hands on their neck and trying to cough.
Choking can result in unconsciousness and cardiopulmonary arrest. It is often caused by food or other foreign body lodged in the throat (airway). Indeed, choking caused by foreign body airway obstruction accounts for about 3,000 deaths each year. The recognition and proper management of choking is of key importance to safety in homes, restaurants, and other public places.
(Other conditions that may cause unconsciousness and/or airway obstruction but are managed differently include stroke, epilepsy, swelling due to infection, head injury, intoxication, overdose, coma of any cause, and heart arrest.)
PREVENTION IS NO ACCIDENT
-Cut food into small pieces.
-Chew food slowly and thoroughly, especially if wearing dentures.
-Avoid laughing and talking during chewing and swallowing.
-Avoid excessive intake of alcohol before and during meals.
Infants and Children:
-Keep marbles, beads, thumbtacks, and other small objects out of their reach and prevent them from walking, running, or playing with food or toys in their mouths.
If you observe an "conscious" ADULT choking:
-Ask, "Are you choking?"
-If the victim can speak, cough, or breathe, DO NOT INTERFERE.
-If the victim CANNOT speak, cough, or breathe, give subdiaphragmatic abdominal thrusts (the Heimlich maneuver) until the foreign body is expelled or the victim becomes unconscious. (Or in case of extreme obesity or late pregnancy, give chest thrusts.)
-Continue uninterrupted until the obstruction is relieved or advanced life support is available. In either case the victim should be examined by a physician as soon as possible.
If the Victim Becomes Unconscious:
-Position victim on back, arms by side.
-Call out "Help!", or if others respond, call 911.
-Perform tongue-jaw lift and finger sweep to try to remove the foreign body.
-Open airway (head-tilt/chin-lift), and attempt rescue breathing.
-If unsuccessful, give 6-10 subdiaphragmatic abdominal thrusts (the Heimlich maneuver).
-Repeat sequence: perform finger sweep, open the airway, attempt rescue breathing, perform abdominal thrusts -- until successful.
-After obstruction is removed, begin the ABC's of CPR if necessary.
-BE PERSISTENT. Continue uninterrupted until obstruction is relieved or advanced life support is available. When successful, have the victim examined by a physician as soon as possible.
Conscious Child (over 1 year old)
To dislodge an object from the airway of a child:
-Perform subdiaphragmatic abdominal thrusts (the Heimlich maneuver) as described for adults.
If the child becomes unconscious:
-Contimue as for an adult, except
DO NOT PERFORM BLIND FINGER SWEEP IN CHILDREN UP TO 8 YEARS OLD.
Instead, perform a tongue-jaw lift and remove foreign body ONLY IF VISUALIZED.
Note: Abdominal thrusts are not recommended in infants. Blind finger sweeps should not be performed on infants or small children.