If you or someone around you starts choking, you need to act fast. Choking happens when a foreign object gets stuck in the throat or windpipe. It only takes about four minutes with no oxygen for a choking victim to experience asphyxia, brain damage, or even death. Fortunately, with quick instinct and knowledge about techniques like the Heimlich maneuver, you can save lives.
The Heimlich maneuver is an accessible first-aid technique to treat choking. If the victim swallows an object and can cough, encourage them to keep coughing. However, if the victim cannot make any sound or cough, they may be choking and unable to breathe. Dial 911 and start performing the Heimlich maneuver using the following scenarios as a guide.
When dealing with medical emergencies, immediate action is essential. Familiarize yourself with St. Luke’s Health community emergency centers to find your nearest location for emergency medical help.
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