Things you should know in a medical emergency Part 1
The Heimlich maneuver /Abdominal thrust (choking)
When someone starts choking, most people’s reaction is to panic. It is important to stay calm and focused in order to help save a life; a person can go without oxygen for approximately 2 minutes (all persons vary) before collapsing, so don’t waste time.
It may not necessarily get the person out of danger, but it might be the difference
between life and death.
Check whether the person is definitely choking.
· The person will not be able to speak. Causes include food, trauma from injury or internalswelling from a severe allergic reaction. Look for the common symptoms of complete or total airway destruction:
· They may have high pitched breathing , or even trying to cough
· Know the international sign for choking
If you have confirmed that the person is definitely choking start the Abdominal Thrust.
· Send someone to call for help – never leave the person
· Get the person to stand and lean forward
· Use one hand to support them
· With the heel of your other hand, give 5 hard blows between the shoulder blades
If that doesn’t dislodge the object start the Heimlich maneuver
The Heimlich maneuver provides an increase in pressure in both the chest and abdomen. This sudden increase in pressure can lead to the object being pushed out of the person’s throat.
· Stand behind the person, put your fist between the belly button and breastbone
· Place your other hand over your fist and give 5 hard upward thrusts
· This should use the air in the lungs to force the object out
· Alternate between the Heimlich Maneuver and Abdominal thrust , if the person collapses start CPR
Infants under 1 year of age
The Heimlich maneuver cannot be administrated on an infant under the age of one year as their abdomen is full of organs and you could cause serious damage
· Turn the baby over , head on your hand facing downwards so gravity will help you
· Between the shoulder blades give 5 hard blows
· Turn the baby over , if there is something in their mouth wipe it out
· If the object is still stuck , turn the baby on its back and do 5 chest thrusts
If the baby passes out start CPR immediately
Remember, stay calm, focused and act quickly, panic later! And more importantly don’t give up. These steps are very simple and could save a life.