Choking While Alone: How You Can Save Your Own Life

blog-default Choking occurs when food or a small object becomes lodged in the back of a person's throat, blocking the airway and preventing oxygen from reaching the lungs and brain. Choking can lead to respiratory arrests and sometimes heart attack, especially in children. It's a terrifying, panic-inducing experience, and it's more common than you might think - Healthline reports that each year, more than 17,000 infants and children are admitted to emergency rooms around the country due to choking-related incidents. If someone around you is choking, it's important to use the Heimlich Maneuver in an attempt to clear their airway. Medline Plus reports that you can do this by positioning yourself behind the victim and reaching your arms around his or her waist. Then, you should place your fist just above the person's navel and grab the fist tightly with your other hand. Finally, quickly pull your fist upward and inward to the person's stomach. This increases airway pressure behind the object that's lodged in the throat, forcing it from the windpipe.


Choking when alone Of course, choking doesn't always occur when you're in the presence of others. People do choke when they're alone, so it's important to know how you should react in case food or an object becomes lodged in your throat when no one else is around. It can take as little as 15 to 30 seconds for a person who is alone to run out of oxygen while choking, making it important to stay calm, but act quickly. First, the site says, determine that you are actually choking. If you can cough, you can still breathe, and performing the Heimlich Maneuver when air can still pass through the windpipe can actually do more harm than good. If you are truly choking, there are still steps you can take to save yourself. According to Medline Plus, the way to clear an obstructed airway by yourself is very similar to the way you would do so for another person. First, make a fist, placing your thumb below your ribcage but above the bellybutton. Next, grab that fist with your other hand, exactly as you would if you were performing the Heimlich Maneuver on someone else. Finally, quickly press that fist into your stomach area. Repeat the motion, if necessary. You can also try leaning over a railing, chair handle or table ledge. Thrusting your upper abdomen against the surface can dislodge the object in your windpipe.  

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