May 17, 2022 7:08 am

What to do when a baby, a pregnant woman or an adult chokes




The Emergency Information and Coordination Centers (CICU), dependent on the Ministry of Health, have managed 297 cases of choking in the Valencian Community during 2021. By provinces, Valencia is where the majority have occurred, with 159 people choking, followed by Alicante with 113 and Castellón with 25.

Knowing how to react to choking is vital and, for this reason, the Department of Health has developed an informative video, in collaboration with professionals from the Health Emergency Service (SES), which has been made known through its social networks.

The audiovisual highlights the importance of knowing the steps to follow when we are with a person who has choked.

However, if it is not known how to act, from the CICU, a coordinating doctor or a coordinating doctor will give the necessary instructions, once the call 112.

When faced with a person who is suffering from choking, the first step is to check that the airway is not completely obstructed. If he is able to cough, he can partially breathe, so we must encourage him to continue coughing, without hitting him. Immediately, you have to call 112 to explain what is happening.

Until the emergency health services arrive, we can help the affected person, if the cough does not expel what caused the choking. You have to hold him by the chest, lean his body forward a little and give five blows between the scapulae -shoulders-, with the lower part of the palm of the hand.

If it stays the same, you should do the maniobra de Heimlich. To do this, stand behind the patient and surround him with both arms. Just above the navel, put a fist in a horizontal position and place the other hand on top, push hard and fast inward and upward and repeat the procedure five times in a row.

We will continue to alternate the five blows to the back, with the Heimlich maneuver, until the foreign body is expelled or until the emergency health services arrive.

In the case of women pregnant, the five blows are made between the scapulae; but the Heimlich maneuver must be replaced by compressions in the center of the chest.

If the one who chokes is an infant –children under 1 year-, the Heimlich maneuver cannot be performed to avoid injury. You have to place him face down on a forearm and hold his head with your hand, keeping it lower than the body. Give five sharp blows with the lower part of the hand between the scapulae. If the foreign body is not expelled, turn the child over and give five compressions to the center of his chest with the index and middle fingers together. Alternate the two cycles until you recover or medical assistance arrives.

If the choking does not stop and the person becomes unconscious and not breathing, you should start immediately the cardiopulmonary resuscitation maneuvers basic. In these situations, the CICU also provides the necessary help, by telephone, to perform cardiac massage, if the technique is unknown.

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