LocationFirst aid advice » Choking adult or child
Click here for first aid treatment for a choking infant
1. A choking adult or child may have the following symptoms:
Mild obstruction - Casualty is able to speak, cough and breathe.
Severe obstruction - Casualty is unable to speak, cough or breathe, with eventual loss of consciousness.
2. Encourage the casualty to cough.
3. If they cannot clear the object themselves, support them with one hand while leaning them forwards.
4. Give up to five back blows, between the shoulder blades.
5. Check their mouth.
6. If unsuccessful, try abdominal thrusts (up to five times). Stand behind the casualty and link your hands below their rib cage with the lower hand clenched in a fist. Pull sharply inwards and upwards.
7. Check their mouth.
8. If the casualty is still choking repeat back blows and abdominal thrusts, checking their mouth after each step.
9. After three cycles of back blows and abdominal thrusts, dial 999/112 for an ambulance
10. Continue cycles as required, or until the paramedics take over.
11. If the casualty becomes unconscious at any point during the procedure, support them as they fall, while protecting their head. Dial 999/112 for an ambulance immediately and start CPR.
12. If abdominal thrusts are used, the casualty should seek medical advice.
Knowing what to do in the vital few minutes of an emergency is critical.
The official St John Wales app contains simple step-by-step advice on dealing with injuries such as severe bleeding, burns, scalds and choking, while also giving advice on how to give CPR and other treatments.
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Your free guide includes first aid advice for choking, severe bleeding, fractures and unconscious casualties.