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It’s also quite common on TV and movies to see someone attempting to give first aid to someone choking with an outdated and often comical technique… Mrs Doubtfire anyone??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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Josh Callaghan
Josh Callaghan
07:20 12 Jul 18
The class and instructor was amazing and very knowledgeable. She took the time to explain the different outcomes and situations we could face. I definitely will be coming back to do my CPR or First Aid when it needs renewed. Thanks so muchread more
K Phelan
K Phelan
22:42 30 May 18
The best, most comprehensive facilitator I've been with. I learnt the most out of this session as it was clear and enjoyable - particularly the online training! The combined learning (visual, audio, practical) really brought it home for me.read more
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