CHOKING: What to Do?

You must have faced a situation where you or  someone around you started coughing badly while eating due to food entering into the wind pipe, at least once in your life. But how you handled the situation? Just offering a glass of water or rubbing their back won't help. Read the whole article to learn the first aid of choking.
First of all it is a medical emergency!
It is the blockage of the body's upper airways which prevents the person from breathing normally. It can cause a cough response and even death if the airways are completely blocked. Blockage can be due to food or some other object.
This happens because our food pipe and windpipe lie adjacent to each other in our body. Wind pipe has a flap like lid that covers it while eating and prevents food from entering the lungs. But when this flap fails to close or opens while eating, it can cause choking.
For Adults: 
1. Strong cough response.
2. Universal choking sign, person who is choking grabs his or her throat using one or both hands.
3. Panic and hand gestures indicating difficulty in breathing.
4. Wheezing or whistle like sound.
5. Inability to speak
6. Bluish discoloration of face.
For Infants:
1. Weak cry
2. Weak cough
3. Difficulty in breathing
Stand behind the choking individual. Make a fist with your one hand and hold it with the other. Your arms should be placed firmly on the person's abdomen just where the ribs end. Now apply a firm force in inward and upward direction.
Keep repeating this until the person starts breathing again or loses his or her consciousness.

Infants should be handled very carefully in cases of choking. One cannot give abdominal thrusts to infants so five back blows should be given after picking them up and then five chest thrusts. The head of the infant should be tilted at such an angle that gravity assists in clearing the airway. 

Many a times the situation can be such that the person getting choked is all alone. In this type of cases it becomes very important to stay calm and try not to panic. One can administer self abdominal thrusts the same way it is done for adults( keep your hands in similar fashion and apply thrust in inward and upward direction). Or you can bend your stomach on a hard object and thrust yourself. 

Need more advice or treatment? Many health care experts at Antarnaad are always here to help you out. Antarnaad is a growing network of experienced physiotherapists, dietitians, nutritionists, fitness trainers and Yoga experts providing treatment for all the conditions. For more information visit our website or call our Consultant: Mb: 9899700187