Student First Aid - Choking

Choking - Partial airway obstruction

Laboured, gasping or noisy breathing, coughing or “crowing”, extreme anxiety or panic.

1. DO NOT give back blows if coughing or breathing.

2. Stay with patient, reassure and encourage them to cough and expel foreign body.

3. If no relief, call Triple Zero (000) or mobile 112 for an ambulance


Choking - Total airway obstruction

Inability to cough, breathe or speak, face greyish in colour with blue lips, clutching at throat and making desperate attempts to breathe.

1. Call Triple Zero (000) or mobile 112 for an ambulance.

2. CONSCIOUS > sit or stand patient and give up to 5 back blows between the shoulder blades with the heel of one hand. Check for relief after each back blow.

3. NO RELIEF > sit or stand patient, place one hand on lower breastbone and one hand on their back at the same position. Give up to 5 sharp chest thrusts. Check for relief after each chest thrust.

4. STILL NO RELIEF > keep alternating back blows and chest thrusts until ambulance arrives.

5. UNCONSCIOUS > quickly check mouth and remove any solid obstruction.

6. If no normal breathing begin CPR and continue until ambulance arrives.