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Previous Next. Now Playing. Media player Media playback is unsupported on your device. Video Drillminister's new song Choke highlights air pollution Speaking on BBC Victoria Derbyshire Drillminister called for the government to act faster with air pollution. His song explores the damages being done by climate change.
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More On:. Video Top Stories. Choking occurs when a foreign object lodges in the throat or windpipe, blocking the flow of air. In adults, a piece of food often is the culprit. Young children often swallow small objects. Because choking cuts off oxygen to the brain, give first aid as quickly as possible. The universal sign for choking is hands clutched to the throat. If the person doesn't give the signal, look for these indications:. If the person is able to cough forcefully, the person should keep coughing.
If the person is choking and can't talk, cry or laugh forcefully, the American Red Cross recommends a "five-and-five" approach to delivering first aid:. The American Heart Association doesn't teach the back blow technique, only the abdominal thrust procedures.
It's OK not to use back blows if you haven't learned the technique. Both approaches are acceptable. If you're the only rescuer, perform back blows and abdominal thrusts before calling or your local emergency number for help. If another person is available, have that person call for help while you perform first aid.
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If the person becomes unconscious, perform standard cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR with chest compressions and rescue breaths. First, if you're alone and choking, call or your local emergency number immediately.
Then, although you'll be unable to effectively deliver back blows to yourself, you can still perform abdominal thrusts to dislodge the item. If the child is older than age 1 and conscious, give abdominal thrusts only.
Be careful not to use too much force to avoid damaging ribs or internal organs. To prepare yourself for these situations, learn the Heimlich maneuver and CPR in a certified first-aid training course. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.
Choking Prevention and Rescue Tips
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