Choking is one of those frightening and unpredictable events that can turn an ordinary every-day meal or fun social gathering into a sudden, life-threatening emergency.

It’s also quite common on TV and movies to see someone attempting to give first aid to someone choking with an outdated and often comical technique… Mrs Doubtfire anyone??

We’ve developed a simple to remember “ABC” set of steps to help you act promptly and decisively with proven techniques that could mean the difference between life and death for someone you love…

If they can cough

This means a partial obstruction or the airway and that the person can still breathe. Reassure them and encourage continued coughing as it’s the easiest and most effective way to clear an obstruction.

Please. Hold the water! Only once an obstruction is dislodged and they’ve finished coughing should you offer a drink if they wish.

If they cannot cough

If they are unable to cough or breathe, or coughing is ineffective, follow the choking first aid “ABC”:

A = AMBULANCE

Have someone call 000 immediately. You may be able dislodge the object is a matter of seconds, but if not, it’s best to have an ambulance on it’s way sooner.

B = BACK BLOWS

choking first aid back blows gifLean the person forward while seated or standing. Hold their shoulder for support and give up to 5 firm back blows, striking the upper back between the shoulder blades with the heel of your palm. Check after each blow to see whether it was effective before continuing.

A small child or infant can be placed chest down across your lap, ideally with their head positioned lower than their body.

C is for CHEST THRUSTS

If back blows are unsuccessful, lay the person on their back on the floor give up to 5 sharp thrusts on the lower half of the sternum (roughly the centre of the chest). Use overlapped hands much like CPR, but with shorter, sharper compressions.

Alternate between 5 black blows and 5 chest thrusts until the airway is clear.

If the person becomes unconscious, roll on their side to sweep any loose matter from the mouth, then start CPR and apply an AED if available.

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Tess Mortimer
Tess Mortimer
10:27 22 May 18
I have have done two of my CPR updates and one First Aid update through Fluid Learning in North Lakes. The courses have been as fun and fuss free as a first aid course can be. The trainers were knowledgeable and friendly and happy to answer questions. Will definitely go back there for any future training and happily recommend them to others.read more
Sarah Lister
Sarah Lister
10:12 19 May 18
My first aid course was very enjoyable. The classes were small which allowed the instructor to ensure that everybody understood what was being taught. The actual instructor (I forgot her name but she was a paramedic) was absolutely fantastic. Everything was demonstrated and explained in a way that was easy to remember. This was my second time at Fluid Learning North Lakes and I will happily return every year to refresh my knowledge! Thank you for the great experience!read more
Paul Schauer
Paul Schauer
22:43 17 May 18
Trainer showed in-depth knowledge of subject and presented in an easy to learn manner. Thoroughly recommendread more