First actions of a first aider – Helping someone who is Choking (Adults and older children)

First actions of a first aider – Helping someone who is Choking (Adults and older children)

When we provide first aid we must always ask for permission to help, and if someone is unconscious ask anyway and then assume you have permission, we call this “implied permission”.

What you may see: A person who is choking will be very frightened and also very possibly holding their hands near their neck and or upper chest.

What to do: You need to establish whether they are choking.

Ask, are you choking?

If they are, ask them if they can speak or cough? If they can, they have a partial airway obstruction, known as “mild choking”. Encourage them to cough to try and remove the obstruction.

If they continue to cough and are responding to you. You can help by providing 5 back slaps and 5 abdominal thrusts, and repeat, or chest thrusts for pregnant women instead of abdominal thrusts.

If the coughing does not remove the object, and you have tried back slaps and abdominal thrusts. Your patient may fall unconscious. Call the emergency services on 999 or 112 and be prepared to administer CPR until expert emergency help arrives.

If they cannot cough and cannot speak you should provide the 5 back slaps and 5 back blows until the object comes out. If the patient falls unconscious, call emergency services and be prepared to provide CPR until expert emergency help arrives.