(10 True/False questions with explanations).
If you see someone in distress and think they are choking, the next thing to do is call 999.
FALSE: Just because someone is in distress doesn’t mean that they are choking. Ask them “Are you choking?”
Someone with severe airway obstruction has a weakening cough.
TRUE: The signs of severe airway obstruction include:
- i. Inability to talk.
- ii. Weakening cough.
- iii. Struggling or unable to breathe.
Everybody will have a strong to cough if they start to choke.
FALSE: There are many groups of people who could have a weak swallow/cough reflex, such as
- i. Those who are intoxicated or drowsy due to drugs.
- ii. People who have been affected by brain injury or disease, such as Dementia, Stroke, Head Injury, Parkinson’s Disease
- iii. The elderly.
- iv. People with poor dentition.
- v. People with a Respiratory Disease
- vi. People with a lowered level of consciousness.
Only give ‘Back Blows’ to someone with a severe airway obstruction.
TRUE: If the person has mild airway obstruction, just encourage them to cough and continue to monitor them until they recover. If they deteriorate to ‘severe’ airway obstruction then perform back blows.
Back-blows will be most effective if the patient is standing up straight.
FALSE: The patient needs to be leant forward as much as possible, and supported. The combination of the back-blow and gravity will help move the obstruction out of the airway
Abdominal Thrusts can cause internal injury.
TRUE. Anyone who has had abdominal thrusts performed on them needs to be professionally examined for injury.
If the patient collapses unconscious to the floor, tilt the head back and give 5 more backslaps.
FALSE: The patient is now unconscious and not breathing. You must start Basic Life Support.
Never perform abdominal thrusts if dealing with an infant less than 1 year old.
TRUE: The risk of serious internal injury is too great. Their bones are more flexible than an adults so perform chest thrusts instead, using two fingers, mid nipple-line.
If the patient is in a wheelchair, quickly get them onto the floor and then give five backslaps.
FALSE: You should be able to do backslaps and abdominal thrusts with the person still in their wheelchair.
A feeling something is still stuck in the throat, is a phantom feeling, and can be ignored.
FALSE: Someone who has been choking needs to be checked out if:
- i. They feel something is still stuck in their throat.
- ii. They still have difficulty in swallowing.
- iii. They have a persistent cough.
- iv. They had abdominal thrusts performed on them.
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