Conscious Choking – Adult, Child, Infant

Choking is when food or another object gets stuck in the airway in the throat.  The object can block the airway and stop air from getting to the lungs.

Mild Airway Block:

  • If they can talk or make sounds or can cough loudly –  Stand by and let the person cough.  If you are worried about the person’s breathing, phone 911.

Severe Airway Block:

  • If they cannot breathe, talk, or make sounds or has a cough that has no sound or makes the choking sign (holding the neck with one or both hands) – Act quickly.

Abdominal Thrusts (Heimlich Maneuver), Chest Thrusts:

  • Gives Thrusts until the object is forced out and the person can breathe, cough, or speak, or until he becomes unresponsive.
  • If your victim is pregnant, in a wheelchair, or larger person – Do Chest Thrusts

Conscious Choking

  • Ask, “Are you choking?
  • If a person is unable to cough, breath or speak, activate EMS
  • Adult and Child
    • Stand behind the victim with one foot in-between the victim’s feet and your other foot behind you.
    • Place the flat side of your fist just above the patients belly button. Grab the back of your fist with your other hand.
    • Administer abdominal thrusts, pulling inward and upward, until the object comes out or the patient becomes unconscious.
  • Infant
    • Support the infant’s face and place body on your forearm.
    • Keep the infant’s head lower than the feet.
    • Administer 5 back blows between the shoulder blades with the palm of your hand.
    • Support the infant’s head. Turn the baby over onto your other forearm. Give 5 chest thrusts.
    • Continue back blows and chest thrusts until object comes out or infant becomes unconscious.
  • Special Circumstances:
    • If the patient is pregnant or too large to reach around, give chest thrusts instead.
    • If you are giving someone abdominal thrusts and the person goes unconscious, lower the patient safely to the ground.
    • Activate EMS, send someone to call 911, and start CPR.