February 15, 2022
Choking can happen anywhere, anytime, and to anyone. Choking occurs when there is a foreign object stuck in the individual’s throat or windpipe, obstructing airflow. Most often, the cause will be a piece of food but in small children, they occasionally swallow small objects.
Due to the lack of airflow, choking can cut off oxygen to the brain. It is crucial for the affected person to get treatment as fast as possible. Fortunately, first aid is often enough to effectively dislodge the obstruction.
How can you tell if someone is choking?
It is universally understood that the sign for choking is when the person’s hands are clutching at their throat. If the person does not give that signal, there are other signs to look out for.
If the person is able to cough forcefully, you should encourage the person to keep on coughing. If they are unable to talk, laugh, or cry forcefully, the American Red Cross recommends the “five-and-five” approach.
What is the “five-and-five” approach?”
How to perform the Heimlich maneuver:
There are other factors to consider treating a person who is choking, such as pregnancy or if they lose consciousness. The Mayo Clinic gives a more detailed overview of what to do during a choking incident.
Whether you are choking or the person performing the life-saving procedures, we are there for you. With situations like choking, time is critical to recovery. That is why our licensed dispatchers and skilled EMTs, and paramedics are available 24/7. Call 9-1-1 and experience the fast and efficient care Med-Care EMS delivers all around the Rio Grande Valley and beyond.
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