First Aid for Choking People

Choking occurs when a foreign object, food, or liquid blocks the airway or airflow in the throat. To prevent fatal consequences, let's understand first aid for choking people.

Cases of choking generally happen to babies or children because they like to put various objects in their mouths. While in adults, cases of choking usually occur due to swallowing food or drink in a hurry.

How to do first aid for a choking person

If it's not severe, choking may only make the sufferer feel like something is stuck in his throat. In this case, you can ask the person who is choking to cough to clear the blockage in the throat. In addition, you can also ask him to vomit objects that block his respiratory tract.

But in more severe conditions, choking can make the sufferer unable to speak or breathe and experience a condition called asphyxia. If not immediately helped, this condition can make the person lack of oxygen and lose consciousness. If the food is liquid, aspiration pneumonia can occur and this condition can be dangerous for the patient.

Therefore, if you find this condition, there are several ways of first aid for a choking person that you can do:

Give a pat or a hit behind the back

You can do this by standing behind the person who is choking and asking him to lean forward. After that, give five strokes with the heel of your hand between the shoulder blades. Repeat until the foreign object that is blocking can get out of the throat.

Do technique abdominal thrusts

This technique is also called Heimlich maneuver, This is done by pressing the solar plexus firmly to remove the blockage of foreign objects in the throat.

You can start by standing behind the person who is choking, then wrap your arms around their waist and hug them tightly. Next, make a fist with one hand just above the solar plexus and pull the fist tight with the other, pressing the solar plexus as hard as possible. Do this five times, or repeat until the foreign object is stuck in the throat.

If the person cannot breathe or is unconscious, seek medical help immediately, for example by taking the patient to the nearest hospital or calling an ambulance. While waiting for medical help to arrive, you can try performing CPR (cardiac and lung resuscitation) techniques. But if you can't do that, find someone nearby who can perform CPR techniques to save the life of a choking victim.

Special Handling to Help a Choking Baby

How to help a choking baby is not the same as helping an adult choking. Some of the above techniques should not be performed on infants. The first thing you can do to help a choking baby is to place the baby in a prone position on your lap, with the head lower than the body.

Hold the baby's head holding it against both cheeks to ensure an open airway. Give five gentle but firm pats between the baby's shoulder blades while checking to see if the blockage has been removed.

It is important to immediately provide first aid for people who are choking, to avoid complications that can be life-threatening. After that, still take the patient to the hospital to get the necessary examination and treatment.