Infant choking

What to do if a baby is choking? The thought of the question alone is frightening, choking is a life threatening emergency especially for babies due to the small size of their airway passage.That said, what do if a baby is choking is a question parents, guardians, teachers, coaches or caregivers should never have to ask themselves, life skills like managing an airway obstruction in an infant are something all adults should poses. On a recent DX2 Paediatric First Aid course we took short video of the two key components of managing a choking infant, namely Back Blows and Chest Trusts. This video is here to remind you of the steps involved in assisting a choking infant. You will also find The Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Councils Clinical Practice Guideline for paediatric foreign body airway obstruction. Lets go through the steps again for what to do if a baby is choking:

  • Confirm the infant is definitely choking i.e ineffective cough
  • Perform 1-5 back blows
  • Downward glancing blow
  • Between Shoulder blades
  • If ineffective perform 1-5 chest trusts
  • Correct finger position lower half of breast bone
  • Continue until obstruction is released or infant unresponsive

Remember in a situation like this panic is very common, its so important for responders to try and stay calm (easier said than done i’ll admit) and apply the skills they have learned. Don’t forget to have someone call for help, get the paramedics on the way to assist you. If you are successful is relieving the obstruction be sure to have the infant examined by a medical practitioner to ensure no damage has been done by the obstruction. Of all the first aid skills, this is one we hope you never have to use.

What to do if a baby is choking Infant Choking Clinical practice guidelines Infant Choking Clinical practice guidelines

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