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How do I give first aid for choking?

If someone is choking, the recommended treatment is the "five-and-five" method, which alternates five back blows with five thrusts of the abdomen. Start by using your hand's heel to hit the person between the shoulder blades five times. Then, perform the Heimlich maneuver - which are abdomen thrusts - five times. To do the Heimlich, stand behind the choking person with your arms around them. Put one fist above the belly button and wrap your other hand around your fist. Press into the stomach and thrust upward. Repeat the five-and-five until the person stops choking or until they become unconscious, at which point CPR should be performed and emergency help should be called.

First aid for a person who is choking is the Heimlich maneuver, which should be performed by a trained individual. It is recommended that everyone receive training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the Heimlich maneuver. Call 911 the moment someone begins choking in case the Heimlich maneuver does not resolve it. To perform the Heimlich nameuver in the event that someone is choking:
  • Position yourself behind the person.
  • Reach both hands around the abdomen of the choking person.
  • Provide forceful repetitive thrusts inward and upward while being careful to avoid the xiphoid process (the pointy bone at the bottom of the breast plate).
  • Continue this motion until the person begins to breathe again.

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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.