During a choking event, speed is crucial. When the lungs are deprived of oxygen, significant brain damage happens swiftly. Here's how to deal with choking and when to call our home doctor in an emergency on the Costa del Sol.
What to do if someone is choking
The "five-and-five" approach
Coughing should be continued if the individual is capable of doing so. Our emergency team suggests using a "five-and-five" technique to provide first aid if the individual is choking and unable to speak, cry, or laugh strongly.
Give 5 back blows
Stand to the side and behind an adult who is choking. Kneel down behind if it's a child who's choking. To provide support, place one arm over the person's chest. Bend the person's upper body parallel to the ground by bending over at the waist. With the heel of your palm, deliver five separate back punches between the person's shoulder blades.
Give 5 abdominal thrusts
Make five abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich manoeuvre).
- Place yourself behind the individual. For balance, place one foot slightly in front of the other.
- Arms should be wrapped around the waist. Slightly lean the person forward. If it's a child who's choking, kneel down behind.
- Using one hand, make a fist. Place it a few inches above the person's navel.
- With the other hand, grasp the fist. As though attempting to hoist the individual up, press strongly into the abdomen with a fast upward push.
- Six to ten abdominal thrusts should be performed until the obstruction is cleared.
5 strikes followed by 5 thrusts should be used alternately until the obstruction is cleared.
What to do if you're the only rescuer
If you're the only one who can help, start by doing back blows and abdominal thrusts before calling our home doctor emergency in Costa del Sol. If there is another person present, ask them to phone for assistance while you are doing first aid.
Perform routine cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the individual if they fall unconscious, including chest compressions and rescue breaths.
What to do if you’re choking
The Heimlich manoeuvre (abdominal thrusts) should only be performed on oneself if you are alone and choking. If you are alone and choking, call our home doctor emergency in Costa del Sol immediately. You may then conduct abdominal thrusts to remove the object, even though you won't be able to administer effective back punches to yourself because of your limited mobility.
- Slightly over your navel, place a fist.
- Bend over a hard surface, such as a countertop or chair, and grasp your fist with the other hand.
- Make a fist and thrust it inward and upward.
What to do if the person who’s choking is pregnant or obese
To clear the airway of a pregnant woman or an obese person, do the following:
- Position your hands at the base of the breastbone, just above the junction of the lowest ribs, a little higher than with a standard Heimlich manoeuvre.
- Proceed in the same manner as the Heimlich manoeuvre, pushing firmly into the chest and delivering a rapid thrust.
- Continue until the food or other obstruction has been removed. If the individual loses consciousness, proceed to the next stage:
What to do if the person is unconscious
To clear the airway of a person who is unconscious, do the following:
- Lower the individual on the floor on his or her back, arms to the side.
- Make sure their airway is clear. If a blockage can be seen at the back of the throat or high in the throat, insert a finger into the mouth and sweep away the source of the obstruction with a gentle motion. If you can't see anything, don't attempt to sweep your finger over it. Keep an eye out for pushing the food or item farther into the airway, which may happen easily with young children.
- If the object stays lodged and the individual does not react after you have taken the above steps, start CPR immediately. If the item is lodged in the chest, the compressions employed in CPR may dislodge it. Keep in mind to inspect the mouth on a regular basis.
What to fo if a baby is choking
To clear the airway of a choking newborn under the age of one, do the following:
- Place the newborn face down on your forearm, which should be resting on your thigh. Maintain a sitting posture. Using your hand, support the infant's head and neck, and position the head lower on the body than the trunk.
- Using the heel of your palm, softly but forcefully thump the newborn five times in the centre of the back, just above the shoulders. With the help of gravity and the back blows, the blocking item should be released. Keep your fingers pointing upwards to prevent hurting the newborn in the back of the head while you are holding him.
- If the infant is still not breathing, turn the baby faceup on your forearm, so that the head rests on your thigh and the trunk is lower than the head. Give five fast chest compressions to the newborn with two fingers positioned in the middle of the infant's breastbone. Repeat five times. After pressing down about 1 1/2 inches, let the chest rise again in between compressions.
- If respiration does not restart after the first round of back strikes and chest thrusts, repeat the procedure. To summon emergency medical assistance, call our home doctor emergency in Costa del Sol immediately.
- If one of these treatments opens the airway but the newborn does not begin to breathe again, start infant CPR immediately.
What to fo if a child is choking
If a kid is older than 1 year old and conscious, only abdominal thrusts should be administered. To prevent harming ribs or internal organs, avoid exerting excessive power throughout the manoeuvre.
When to call our home doctor emergency in Costa del Sol
Call our home doctor emergency in Costa del Sol immediately if you or someone is choking at +34 952 811 818. To become a member of Helicopteros Sanitarios Hospital call us at +34 952 816 767.