Clear the Way – Choking Myth BustedBy Home Security Source Jun 24, 2011 | 8:30:00 amPosted in: Home Security Tips
Imagine you’re enjoying a great summer BBQ when, someone nearby starts choking on a hotdog. What’s your first instinct? A lot of people think a choking person needs a glass of water and a few pats on the back. Is this right? No…and no. It’s not. In fact, these things can make the situation worse, particularly in that order.
Before you determine how you can help, ask yourself two important questions. How you answer will guide you on what to do next:
Is the person able to talk a little bit? Can he or she cough? If the person can talk a little bit, but coughs violently, then the blockage is only partial, which is pretty common and not considered severe. This is where the term “went down the wrong pipe” originated. Encourage the person to continue coughing to keep the oxygen flowing. Don’t offer water, it could worsen the situation by taking up whatever space is left for the choking person to breathe. So when should you take aggressive action to help?
If the person can only nod his or her head and begins to turn blue, then it’s a full-on blockage and you should immediately call 9-1-1, and then deliver five sharp blows in between the shoulder blades. If that fails, move on and use the “five-and five” approach, incorporating the Heimlich maneuver.
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