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Thursday, January 14, 2016

First Aid: When Someone is Choking

     Has anyone from your family experienced this one simple yet deadly emergency situation? When I was a child, I remember my younger brother suddenly coughed-up as if he cannot breathe. My mother maybe out of experience knowing what had transpired, made a strong tap on his back and two small coins suddenly cough-out from my brother's mouth. The same thing happened when my eldest was  only 6 years old, remembering what my mother had done, tapped on his back too and cough-out a small coin. Another incident when my daughter, already 18 years old suddenly choked upon a pechay veggie we were eating. Her older brother, made an abdominal thrust on her back to cough-out the food. Choking is the common cause of death amongst children. Choking can be fatal if not immediately and properly handled. As a mom, on a time like this, we should know how to give immediate action to rescue someone we love. Read on and be informed..

How to recognize when someone is choking?
1. When a person is clutching at his throat and unable to speak.
2. When a person is becoming distressed and panicky.
3. When a person lost consciousness because of inability to breathe,

What happens when someone is choking?
When we swallow food, a flap of cartilage known as epiglottis, moves downward to stop food from being taken into our trachea or windpipe. If this fails to happen, food becomes stuck in our airways and choking might have occurred.
Choking if not attended and properly handled may cause brain damage within 3 or 4 minutes due to lack of oxygen.

What are the proper immediate actions when someone is choking?
For Baby:
1. Straddle the baby's face down along your arm supporting his head. Give 5 firm taps between his shoulders.
2, If choking continues, turn the baby over, still supporting his head. Place 2 finger-tips between his navel and breastbone. Press forward and downward in quick movements and repeat the movement up to 4 times if necessary.
3. If the baby loses consciousness, seek medical help immediately and begin resuscitation.

For Children:
1. Lay the child across your lap with his head down. Tap firmly between the shoulder blades 5 times.
2. If unsuccessful, turn the child over so that he faces you on your lap. Support the back of the child and give him 5 firm upward thrusts with one hand above his navel.
3. If still unsuccessful, try step 1 and 2 again. If the child becomes unconscious, call an ambulance /bring to the nearest hospital immediately and begin resuscitation.

For Adults:
1. Lean the patient forward and give him 5 hard taps on the back between his shoulder blades.
2. If unsuccessful, abdominal thrust can be performed from behind a patient who is either standing or sitting.  
     a) Pass your hands around the patient and interlock them together just above his navel.
     b) Pull sharply inwards and upwards
3. If the person is unconscious, kneel astride him on the floor and perform similar abdominal thrust with your hand (one hand on top of the other) just below the rib cage.
4. If you have tried the abdominal thrust 6 times without success, call an ambulance/bring the patient to the nearest hospital and begin resuscitation.

Step 2
Step 3
*Remember not to poke fingers down the  choking victim's throat to find the object. But if the object appears at the victim's mouth, you may remove it gently.

#firstaid  #choking  #health

Info and images credit to First Aid, Children's Leisure Products Ltd. 1998  published by Geddes&Grosset 

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I would appreciate comments and links related to my blog post. Feel free ..~ April Brews