Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Airway Foreign Body First Aid Adults

First aid may be required for an adult with an inhaled foreign body.

American Heart Association Conscious Victim Protocol:

  • Ask, "Are you choking?" If they can talk, they are not choking.
  • Give abdominal thrusts (use chest thrusts for pregnant or obese victim).
  • Repeat thrusts until effective or victim becomes unconscious.

American Heart Association Unconscious Victim Protocol:
  • Perform steps 1-3 above.
  • Activate EMS system.
  • Perform tongue-jaw lift. Perform a finger sweep if a foreign object is visible in the mouth.
  • Open the airway (head tilt-chin lift) and try to ventilate; if still obstructed reposition the head and try to ventilate again.
  • Give 5 abdominal thrusts
  • Repeat steps 3 through 5 until effective

Continue to Airway Foreign Body First Aid Children

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