5. First Aid for Someone Who is Choking


Someone who is choking may be clutching at their chest or neck and won’t be able to speak, breathe or cough.

  1. If someone is choking, encourage them to cough.

If the blockage is severe, they may be holding their chest or neck and won't be able to speak, breathe or cough, and you will need to help them.

  1. Bend them forwards and give up to 5 back blows to try and dislodge the blockage.

Hit them firmly on their back with the heel of your hand between the shoulder blades.

Hitting them on their back creates a strong vibration and pressure in the airway, which is often enough to dislodge the blockage. Dislodging the blockage will allow them to breathe again.

  1. If they are still choking, give up to 5 abdominal thrusts: hold around the waist and pull inwards and upwards above their belly button.

Abdominal thrusts squeeze the air out of the lungs and may dislodge the blockage.

  1. If they are still choking call 999.

Repeat the steps until they can breathe again or until help arrives.

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