Treating a choking adult or child

Treating a choking adult or child

Encourage the casualty to cough. If coughing clears the obstruction, monitor the casualty. If after coughing the obstruction still remains and the casualty is still choking, then administer up to a maximum of 5 back blows.

Back blows

  • Stand to the side and slightly behind the casualty
  • Support the chest with one hand, lean the casualty forward and administer a maximum of five sharp blows between the shoulder blades with the heel of your other hand
  • If the back blows are ineffective then give up to 5 abdominal thrusts

Abdominal thrusts

  • Stand behind the casualty and put both arms around the upper part of the abdomen, lean the casualty forward
  • With one hand clench your fist and place it between the navel and the ribcage
  • Grasp this hand with your other hand and pull sharply inwards and upwards, repeat this process up to a maximum of 5 times
  • Assess the casualty’s condition, if the obstruction is still not relieved call for an ambulance (999/112) and continue with the cycles of up to 5 back blows and 5 abdominal thrusts until qualified medical assistance takes over
  • If the casualty becomes unresponsive commence CPR

Here is a video from St Johns Ambulance on how to deal with a choking casualty