There’s a good chance you’ll witness someone choke at some point in your life: Choking is the fourth leading cause of death due to unintentional injury. National Security Council.
You’ve been warned about choking hazards since childhood, but do you know what to do if someone around you is choking? If not, learning is vital, experts say. “In suffocation, there is an obstruction in a person’s airway and failure to act can unfortunately lead to suffocation and suffocation.” Dr. Eric AdkinsAn emergency medicine physician at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center tells Yahoo!
It is also important to act quickly: Dr. A.S. Daniel Fisherchairman of pediatrics at Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, tells Yahoo! Life. “Sometimes you have minutes or seconds to restore that airway before permanent damage occurs,” she says. “It’s a scary situation that needs an immediate response.”
including many organizations Red Cross, give courses on what to do if someone is choking. But if you don’t have time to take a course or know you never will, it’s important to at least have some basic knowledge of what to do in an emergency. Here’s what experts recommend.
First, is there any chance of choking?
“Strokes can happen to anyone, but children 5 and older are at the highest risk,” said Dr. Zeeshan Khan, an associate professor at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine.
Children Below 4 They’re especially prone to choking “because they have smaller airways to begin with and they don’t handle different foods,” says Fisher. “They are sensitive about what they put in their mouths,” she added.
With older adults, “swallowing can change, making people more prone to choking,” Adkins says.
Common causes of suffocation
Choking can occur in various situations, but experts say that the main causes in children are food, coins, toys and balloons.
“The most common causes of choking in adults almost always involve food,” Khan says. However, he added, “Elderly people may have difficulty chewing and swallowing, which can lead to choking.”
What to do if a child is choking
If someone else is there, Fisher recommends asking them to call 911 while you take action. And if you’re alone, try dehydrating the food first. “Your first attempt saves more lives than calling 911 first,” she said.
If a child is under 1 year old, you want to hold the baby face down and do a backstroke, says Fisher. “This means taking the heel of your hand and aiming between the shoulder blades,” she says. This creates strong vibrations and pressure in the airway, which can often dislodge the object, she says.
of British Red Cross Specifically, he recommends giving up to five back kicks while holding the baby face down against your lap and resting their head under your lap. If the back kicks don’t help, turn the baby to face up, place two fingers between their chests below the nipples, and push down hard up to five times. This compresses air from the baby’s lungs and helps clear the blockage, says the British Red Cross.
What to do if a child is choking
of American Academy of Pediatrics He recommends using the Heimlich maneuver on children who are choking. Again, ask someone to call 911 while you take action. You can do this when the child is sleeping, sitting or standing.
If they’re sitting or standing, position yourself behind them and wrap your arms around their hips, says AAP. Place the thumb of your fist between their stomachs, grab that fist with your free hand and quickly press upwards and inwards. Repeat these pressures until the object coughs or the child starts breathing.
If the child is unconscious, you will want to do what is called a tongue-and-mouth lift. To do this, AAP says, open their mouth with your thumb on their tongue and your fingers wrapped around their lower jaw (this keeps the tongue away from the back of the throat). In this way, you may be able to clear the airway. If you see what’s causing the blockage, try to remove it by wiping it sideways with your finger – just be careful, as this can push the object further down.
If the baby doesn’t start breathing again, gently tilt their head back and lift their chin, says the AAP. Then put your own mouth on their mouth, close their nose and give two breaths lasting one and a half to two seconds. Then go back to the Heimlich maneuver. Keep repeating the steps until the child starts breathing again or until help arrives.
What to do if an adult is choking
For adults, it’s important to ask if they’re waking up first, says Adkins. If they indicate that they are, you take the same steps as you would for a child, for example American Red Cross. Give them five back kicks, then Five constipationIf the violations do not remove the item.
Keep repeating this cycle or call 911 if you can’t expel the object.
It’s a good idea to see a doctor after the blockage is resolved, Khan says. “There can be complications from the room,” he says.
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