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How do I give care to a conscious choking adult who can't breathe?

AFTER CHECKING THE SCENE AND THE INJURED OR ILL PERSON, HAVE SOMEONE CALL 9-1-1 AND GET CONSENT.

1: GIVE 5 BACK BLOWS

Bend the person forward at the waist and give 5 back blows between the shoulder blades with the heel of one hand. [media id="PRD__4d8b8bc066d608_12951319" title="Give forceful back blows with heel of hands"] 

2: GIVE 5 ABDOMINAL THRUSTS

  • Place a fist with the thumb side against the middle of the person’s abdomen, just above the navel.
  • Cover your fist with your other hand. 
  • Give 5 quick, upward abdominal thrusts.   

3: CONTINUE CARE

Continue sets of 5 back blows and 5 abdominal thrusts until the:

  • Object is forced out. 
  • Person can cough forcefully or breathe. 
  • Person becomes unconscious.

4: WHAT TO DO NEXT

  • IF PERSON BECOMES UNCONSCIOUS—CALL 9-1-1, if not already done. 
  • Carefully lower the person to the ground and give CARE for an unconscious choking adult, beginning with looking for an object.
American Red Cross,rescuer, perform Heimlich manuever, arms around victim waist, grasp fist with other hand, abdominal thrust, upward thrust

Continue Learning about First Aid For Choking

How Does a Person Choke?
How Does a Person Choke?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.