Choking is one of the more treatable conditions a first aider may come across, but it remains a big cause of fatalities across the globe. Basic training can improve confidence and help save lives. Watch the video and learn how to treat a choking adult in three simple steps.

Step One

Establish the casualty is choking through their inability to speak, watery eyes, tension and clues at the scene. Then keep calm and reassure the casualty and tell them to cough (which could release the object).

Check the mouth for visible obstructions, but do not sweep your finger inside the mouth as this could push the object further down the airway. 

Only take the object out if it is close to the lips. If its further back proceed on to step two.

Step Two

Deliver five sharp back blows between the middle of the shoulder blades. Keep one eye on the casualty’s face as the object could release or travel out with vomit. When this happens perform a check on the casualty to see if they are still choking.

When there is no sign of the object releasing proceed onto step three

Step Three

Check to see if the casualty is still choking after the five initial back blows. If so deliver five abdominal thrusts under the casualty’s diaphragm. Clench one fist and place the other hand on the top, then push and lift the casualty which has the effect of pushing air upwards through the airway.

Now check to see if the casualty is still choking. If so dial 999 / 112 stating your location and that a casualty is choking. Then repeat steps 2-3 until the object is clear or medical professionals tell you to stop.