Save A Life, Maybe Your Own!

Choking: How To Help Others & Yourself

GREENSBORO, NC -- You might not drive in a car everyday. You certainly don't fly in a plane everyday. And 
there are even days when you don't spend any money. But what you do  every day,  is eat or drink.

It kind of makes sense then when you hear choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional deaths for adults. (The first by the way is poisoning due to drug overdoses)

Here's the thing, we can be choking in public where there's a chance someone knows how to help 
or we can be choking at home when we're by ourselves. There's no way you'll be able to tell 911 what your emergency is. So we're getting answers on both scenarios thanks to the Greensboro Red Cross chapter.

Niki Ash, a lifeguard trainer, shows us how to help someone else first because she says, if you know how to help someone else, you know how to help yourself.

Niki says if the person is coughing, let them cough. But when they are unable to cough, speak or breathe, you need to help out. 

"When you're helping someone else, you're going to stand where your body is centered to the side of their body. It's going to give five back blows 1,2.3,4,5. Not too quick. Then,  you're going to stand  behind  and turn around, find their belly button and make your hand into a fit and do five abdominal thrusts."

You're going to repeat that over and over until the person starts breathing, coughing, speaking or passes out..
In that case, you're calling 911.

If you're by yourself, make a fist right above your belly button and do the thrust or lean against something like a table or counter or chair and push your abdomen against it.

"Helping a choking victim,  recognizing the signs of heart attack or stroke, this is all part of red cross training. And it's not just for lifeguards and health workers,  it's meant for all of us."

Find a Red Cross class near you for CPR, babysitting, lifeguard and swim safety, First Aid, etc. 

© 2017 WFMY-TV


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