Apr 11th 2018
Choking on food is the fourth leading cause of accidental death. It's not pleasant to read about, but keeping a few simple things in mind can keep you alive while you swallow food. First pay attention to eating. Take small bites. Don't talk even for a minute while eating. If food is dry, moisten it with a sauce. Sip some liquid between pieces of meat. Choking can happen in an instance when food moves and blocks the upper airway preventing oxygen into the lungs. Unless the person manages to cough enough to dislodge the food, or someone nearby quickly performs the Heimlich Maneuver on the victim, suffocation and death can result in minutes.
Pay attention at meal time. If you see someone nearby grabbing or pointing at their throat, or coughing, gagging, wheezing or looking scared, ask them to nod if they are choking. Remember they may not be able to speak. Quickly tell them you will use abdominal thrusts (Heimlich Maneuver) to move the food out of their airway.
Stand behind them with one leg forward between their legs. Reach around the abdomen and place the your fist against the abdomen above the navel. Grasp your fist with your other hand and thrust inward and upward into the victim's abdomen with quick jerks. (If you cannot get your arms around the person or if abdominal thrusts are not effective, give chest thrusts from behind; avoid squeezing the ribs with your arms)
Continue thrusts until the person expels the object or says they are ok, but if they become unresponsive, tell someone to call 911, lower them to the ground, expose the chest and start CPR. Look inside the mouth and try to remove any objects. Tilt the head and lift the chin to open the airway