Choking for foreign body.  Heimlich Maneuver.

Choking for foreign body. Heimlich Maneuver.

In my years in pediatrics I have been fortunate to have seen very few cases in which a child has been hospitalized for choking. But though it may not at first appear serious, choking can quickly become a tragedy with a fatal outcome and lead to cardiac arrest if not dealt with quickly. This is a brief overview of what to do if there is an obstruction of the airway.

With an infant, hold the baby face down on your forearm and give a pat with the palm of your hand between the infant’s shoulder blades.

If the foreign object is not removed, turn the baby over, support him on the back and apply five chest compressions with two fingers, alternating with five back slaps until the object is expelled and the baby starts to cry or cough. If despite your efforts the baby begins loses consciousness, begin CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation).

If you see a child or adult with his hands around his neck (a universal sign for choking) and begins to turn blue, instruct the person to cough forcefully. If the foreign object is not expelled, stand behind him and give five sharp slaps between the shoulder blades. If slapping is not effective perform The Heimlich Maneuver.

From behind circle your arms around the body so your hands are in front. Form a fist with one hand, clutch it with the other and make a quick, upward motion into the abdomen at the level of the epigastrium and below the ribs. If the obstruction is not removed continue alternating five back slaps with five abdominal thrust. Do this as many times as necessary to expel the object. If the person loses consciousness ask for help and begin CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation)