SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The patient cannot breathe, cough or speak. They look frightened, their eyes may appear to bulge and they are likely to clutch their throat.
TREATMENT OF CONSCIOUS ADULT OR CHILD
The patient is unable to clear their own airway by coughing, so the treatment is to force air out of their lungs with a combination of back blows and chest thrusts.
1. Ask if they are choking. Usually they will nod. Encourage them to cough to attempt to dislodge the object.
2. Stand behind and slightly to the side of an adult patient. Kneel beside a child.
3. Supporting their chest with one hand, lean the patient well forward so that when the obstruction is dislodged, it will come out of the mouth rather than go further down the airway.
4. Give five sharp blows between the shoulder blades with the heel of your other hand. Make sure each back blow is given with the intention of dislodging the obstruction.
If, after five back blows, the obstruction is not dislodged, perform chest thrusts.
1. Stand behind an adult patient and wrap your arms around their chest.
2. Kneel behind a child patient or sit them on your lap.
3. Make a fist and place the thumb side in the middle of the patient’s chest, on their sternum, at armpit level.
4. Place your other hand on top.
5. Give five quick inward thrusts. Make sure each thrust is a separate and distinct jolt and is given with the intention of getting rid of the obstruction.
6. Repeat the sequence of five back blows followed by five chest thrusts until the object is dislodged or the patient becomes unresponsive