Tips to helping a choking person

Emergency  is not limited to road crash accidents, a situation where someone is choking is an emergency that might lead to needless loss of life if the victim does not get effective help.

It was lunch time in the office, colleagues went to the cafeteria to eat. Suddenly, a colleague started to choke. Miss Elizabeth,  one of the colleagues who was at the cafeteria at the time of the emergency had  participated in HEI’s First Responders Training, hence she helped to save the choking colleague by deploying the ‘HELPING A CHOKING PERSON’ skill she learnt in the training.

Choking occurs when a foreign object lodges in the throat or windpipe, blocking the flow of air. In adults, a piece of food often is the culprit. Young children often swallow small objects. Because choking cuts off oxygen to the brain, giving first aid as quickly as possible saves the victim from death.

The universal sign for choking is hands clutched to the throat. If the person doesn’t give the signal, look for these indications:

  • Inability to talk
  • Difficult breathing or noisy breathing
  • Squeaky sounds when trying to breathe
  • Cough, which may either be weak or forceful
  • Skin, lips and nails turning blue or dusky
  • Skin that is flushed, then turns pale or bluish in color
  • Loss of consciousness

When an adult or child has a severe airway block, give thrusts slightly above the belly button. These thrusts are called abdominal thrusts or the Heimlich Maneuver. Like a cough, each thrust pushes air from the lungs. This can help move or remove an object that is blocking the airway.

Any person who has received abdominal thrusts for choking should see a healthcare provider as soon as possible.

First Responders skill is important and can be relevant to you or your loved ones when you least expect. Procastinate no more, Register for First Responders Training today, sponsor your friend, colleagues/staff to participate in this lifesaving training. Click here to register.


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