Choking – becoming unresponsive

Choking Emergency Protocol

Choking can turn fatal in a matter of minutes. Recognizing the signs and acting promptly can be life-saving. Here’s what you should do when someone is choking and initial attempts at relief are unsuccessful:

1. Initial Response to Choking

If an individual is choking and both back slaps and abdominal thrusts don’t help, it’s highly probable the person will become unresponsive shortly.

2. Lay the Patient Down

Should the patient lose consciousness, gently lay them on their back on the ground. Safeguarding their head and body during this transition is paramount.

3. Start CPR Immediately

Begin CPR with the chest compression phase. There’s no need to check the airway or give initial rescue breaths since the choking incident already indicates a blocked airway.

4. Alert Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

If there are others around, instruct someone to immediately call EMS. If you’re alone, take a moment to make the emergency call yourself before resuming CPR.

5. Objective of Compressions

In choking cases that are purely respiratory in nature, effective chest compressions might dislodge the obstruction, enabling the person to breathe again.

6. If Breathing Restarts…

If the person starts breathing again after the blockage is cleared, shift them to the recovery position. This helps ensure their airway remains open and any fluids drain away from the airway. Continue to monitor them closely to ensure their breathing doesn’t stop again.

7. Transfer of Care

Upon EMS arrival, brief them in detail about the choking episode and all the first aid measures you administered.

Need More Information?

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