Choking can occur when a foreign object such as food becomes stuck in the back of the throat – young children are especially at risk as they may put toys or other small objects into their mouth. Whilst a mild blockage usually clears by itself, a severe blockage means the individual may be unable to speak, breathe or cough and eventually they will become unconscious.
When treating choking, check to see if the obstruction is mild or severe. If the casualty can breathe, speak, cry or cough (indicative of mild obstruction), you should remove any visible obstruction from their mouth and encourage them to continue coughing. If it is a severe obstruction, apply up to five back blows, then check their mouth and remove any obstruction. If their airway is still not clear, you’ll need to apply five thrusts to the abdominal area, carried out as you are standing behind the casualty. Repeat this circuit of back blows and abdominal thrusts up to three times and if the obstruction has still not cleared, call 999 and continue treatment until help arrives.
Risks when treating choking
There are risks to treating choking using first aid, as if you apply too much pressure when performing the abdominal thrusts, you could injure somebody by thrusting too hard. If you are injured by somebody performing first aid, you may be able to claim compensation. It depends whether negligence is deemed to have occurred. A genuine mistake made by a well-meaning member of the public can’t really be helped, whereas first aid carried out by a trained first-aider at your work shouldn’t leave you injured.
Get in touch with us
Call Accident Advice Helpline today and we’ll be able to tell you straight away whether you’re able to make a claim for compensation. Our team of professional personal injury lawyers has 14 years’ experience in the industry, and we work on a 100% no win, no fee* basis, so our services are affordable to everyone. What’s more, because we are accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, you know you can rely on us to handle your claim efficiently and professionally. We offer advice in confidence, with no obligation to proceed with a claim, so if you’re unsure whether claiming is the right step to take, get in touch with us by calling our freephone helpline – we are open 24/7.