First Aid – Dad Saves Choking Son.

Over the past few months I’ve been receiving news updates, some of which have been really dramatic.

One article that I wanted to bring to your intention was where a video captures the moment that a quick-thinking dad sprang into action to save his choking 11-year-old-son.

An 11 year old boy was eating in his living room.

Suddenly, he started to choke, startling his aunt and the dog.

HIs aunt started patting him on the bath, the other youngster in the video assisted.

His dad quickly came running to perform the Heimlich maneuver.

Luckily, he saved the day and his son was not injured during the incident.



Senior man coughing into his hand, isolated on white background

You too can help someone who is choking.

When we’re eating the epiglottitis, which is a flap of tissue that sits beneath the tongue at the back of the throat, closes over the windpipe (trachea) while you’re eating to prevent food entering your airway.

If food or a foreign object lodges in the throat or windpipe, blocking the flow of air, then we choke.

When good gets into the trachea sometimes your body can fix the problem by coughing up the blockages.  But, when the object is lodged further down the trachea it blocks airflow to the lungs.  If some is truly choking they won’t be able to breathe or talk and their face might turn red.  In time if this continues then they may turn white, and the lips turn blue due to a lack of oxygen.

There are two main types of choking.  One is known as a partial airway obstruction or mild choking, and the other is a complete airway obstruction, or severe choking.

So if you see that someone is choking, they may be able to release the blockage themselves by coughing.

Coughing is an important reflex that helps protect your airway and lungs against irritants.  Coughing can propel air and particles out of your lungs and throat at speeds close to 50 miles per hour.  So hopefully the coughing action will help to remove the blockage.

The following information is only to be administered on a choking adult, follow me to see how to assist a full blockage with a child or infant.

Where choking is severe, the person won’t be able to speak, cry, cough or breathe.  Without help, they’ll eventually become unconscious.


Male First aider showing a technique for a choking casualty – he’s demonstrating back blows on a female choking casualtyTo carry out a back blow on an adult, stand behind them slightly to one side.  Support their chest with 1 hand, and lean them forward so that the object blocking their airway will come out of their mouth, rather than moving further down.

Give up to five sharp blows between their shoulder blades with the heel of your hand.  The heel is between the palm of your hand and your wrist.

Check if the blockage has cleared.

If not, give up to 5 abdominal thrusts.

First Aid – Abdominal thrusts

Don’t give abdominal thrusts to pregnant women, or babies under 1 years old.

To carry out an abdominal thrust:

Stand behind the person who’s choking.

Place your arms around their waist and bent them forward.

Clench 1 fist and place it fight above their belly button.

Put the other hand on top of your fist, and pull sharply inwards and upwards.

Repeat this movement up to  times.

If the blockage doesn’t come out, then CALL 999 at this point.

Whilst you are waiting for the ambulance to arrive repeat the process of administering up to 5 back blows, and then repeat up to 5 abdominal thrusts.  If they go unconscious then help them to the ground and call for an AED, and commence chest compressions.

Follow me to see further help regarding chest compressions.

Choking is common, and serious; every second counts.

If you would like to read more first aid tips then follow me.

If you would be interested in practical sessions to demonstrate this, then contact me.

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to sharing more tips with you.






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