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First Aid For Choking Victims

Updated on November 30, 2007

Would you be able to spot the signs and symptoms of a person truly choking? Do you realize if you attempted to assist a person that is choking without knowing the proper way to perform the Heimlich procedure, you most likely will do more harm than good?

Choking is usually caused by food or an object stuck in the windpipe. A person who is choking as a rule cannot talk, cough or breathe. They may start to turn dusky or blue in color. The Heimlich Maneuver if done properly can in most cases dislodge food from a person choking that is caused by food ingestion.

WARNING: Do not begin the choking rescue procedure unless you are certain that the person is choking.



1. Ask "Are You Choking?"

2. Shout And Call for Help If victim cannot cough, speak or breathe, is coughing weakly, is making high pitched noises.

3. Do Abdominal Thrusts

Wrap your arms around the victim's waist and make a fist.

Place thumb side of fist on middle of victim's abdomen just above the navel and well below the lower tip of the breastbone.

Grasp fist with your other hand.

Press fist into the abdomen with a quick upward thrusts.

4. Repeat Abdominal Thrusts Until Object is Coughed Up, Or Victim Starts To Breath Or Cough.

5. Do A Finger Sweep

Grasp tongue with lower jaw and lift jaw.

Slide finger down inside of cheek to base of tongue.

Sweep object out.

6. Open Airway

Tilt head back and lift chin.

7. Give 2 Full Breaths

Keep head titled back and pinch nose shut.

Seal you lips tight around victim's mouth.

Give 2 full breaths for 1 to 1 ½ seconds each.

8. If Air Won't Go In, Give 6 to 10 Abdominal Thrusts

Place heel of one hand against middle of victim's abdomen.

Place other hand on top of first hand.

Press into abdomen with quick upward thrusts.

9. Repeat Steps 5,6,7,8, Until Airway Clears Or Ambulance Arrives.

Knowing the Heimlich Procedure is a must for parents with small children.

Baby (Younger Than 1 Year)

Baby younger than 1.

Put the baby face down on your forearm so that baby's head is lower than chest.

Support the baby's head in your palm, against your thigh. Do not cover the baby's mouth or twist the baby's neck.

Use the heel of your hand to give up to 5 back slaps between the baby's shoulder blades.

If the object does not pop out of the baby's mouth, support the baby's head and turn the child face up on your thigh. Keep the baby's head lower than his or her body.

Place 2 or 3 fingers just below the nipple line on the baby's breastbone - proceed to give 5 quick chest thrusts between the baby's nipples(same position as chest compressions in CPR for a baby).

Look for an object in the baby's mouth. If you can see one, remove it. Then give 2 rescue breaths. To give rescue breaths: {Rescue breaths; place your mouth over baby's mouth and nose).

Place one hand on the baby's forehead, and tilt the baby's chin up to keep the airway open.

Then place your mouth over the baby's mouth and nose and slowly blow air in until the baby's chest rises.

Between breaths, remove your mouth, take a breath, and watch for the baby's chest to fall.

If the object does not come out with these steps, call 911 or other emergency services.

Continue with back slaps, chest thrusts, looking for the object, and rescue breaths until the baby coughs up the object while you await EMS services to arrive.

Infant Heimlich


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    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      HAH! I just came across this hub from a google title search for my new hub on First Aid. And, you are from Shelby Twp? Amazing. I'm from Sterling Heights and have a condo there. My family is living in St Hts and Washington Twp- hubber Cardelean.

      Nice to meet you and great article here btw. Voted it up.


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