First Aid at Work Level 3 (VTQ) - Online Blended Part 1

106 videos, 5 hours and 26 minutes

Course Content

Choking Recognition

Video 52 of 106
3 min 8 sec
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Dealing with Choking: Recognize, Assess, and Respond

1. Choking: A Manageable Emergency

Choking, while not a common cause of death, often occurs during eating or in social settings. Timely action can be a lifesaver, as victims are initially conscious and responsive.

2. Recognizing Choking

Key to a successful response is differentiating choking from other medical emergencies such as fainting, heart attacks, or seizures. Look for signs like sudden respiratory distress, cyanosis, or loss of consciousness.

3. Choking Risk Factors

Choking typically happens while eating or drinking and can be more likely in individuals with certain risk factors:

  • Reduced consciousness
  • Drug or alcohol intoxication
  • Neurological impairment affecting swallowing and cough reflex
  • Respiratory disease
  • Mental impairments or dementia
  • Dental problems
  • Older age

4. Identifying Severity of Choking

Ask the conscious victim, "Are you choking?" to determine the severity:

  • If they can speak, cough, and breathe, it's a mild obstruction.
  • If they can't speak, have a weakened cough, or struggle to breathe, it's severe.

5. Treatment Approach

We'll explore choking treatment in detail in later videos, but here's a brief overview:

  • For mild obstruction, encourage coughing.
  • Back blows, abdominal thrusts, and chest compressions are for severe obstructions.
  • Success rates improve with combinations of techniques.
  • Bystander-initiated chest compressions for unconscious victims can be effective.

6. Aftercare and Seeking Medical Advice

Even after successful choking treatment, victims may have residual foreign material in their airways. Look for symptoms like persistent cough or difficulty swallowing and advise victims to seek medical evaluation.

Caution: Abdominal thrusts and chest compressions can potentially cause internal injuries, so victims treated with these methods should be examined by medical professionals afterward.