Choking is the #4 leading cause of death in people of all ages after heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries.
So, learning how to prevent it, can save your life or someone else’s. The best way to prevent choking is to know the main steps of first aid:
1. If the person is conscious and can speak, ask them to cough the object out.
If the person is not conscious or cannot speak, use abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich maneuver) to dislodge the object: Mayo Clinic explains it:
- Stand behind the victim.
- Balance can be improved by placing one foot slightly ahead of the other.
- Your arms should be cinched around their waist.
- Adjust the person’s position a tad.
- Make a fist. Place it just over the person’s belly button.
- Another hand should be used to clinch the fist.
- Press hard into the abdomen with a quick, upward thrust — as if trying to lift the person.
- Perform between six and ten abdominal thrusts until the blockage is cleared.
2. Call for help. Get someone to call the local emergency number.
3. Stay with the person until help arrives.