What To Do If Someone Is Choking

Would you know what to do if someone you were sharing a meal with began to choke? There may only be minutes for you to respond and potentially save a life!


The first thing you want to do is make sure the person is actually choking. Ask them and if they are choking and if they cannot respond, you need to spring into action. Do not panic. Have someone call 911 immediately as you start the Heimlich maneuver.


The Heimlich maneuver is an emergency technique used to prevent suffocation when someone’s airway has been obstructed. To deliver the Heimlich maneuver you need to get behind the person and wrap your arms around their waist. Make a fist with one hand and cover it with the your other hand and place this just below the person’s rib cage. Using an inward and upward motion, give four or five quick thrusts with your fist. Repeat this thrusting motion several times until the food is dislodged.


If the food becomes dislodged but the person is unconscious, you need to begin CPR. If you have taken Orange County CPR Classes you will be well prepared for the steps you need to take. Hopefully, the first responders will get there in time to take over.


If the food did not become dislodged and the person loses consciousness, you need to lay them down flat, check the mouth for the object, if you see the object, try and remove it without pushing it further into the airway. If you can’t remove the object, begin CPR until help arrives.

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About the author

I spent 15 years as a firefighter and paramedic...

And too often I would arrive on the scene of someone unconscious, surrounded by a circle of people feeling helpless. Sometimes those people would even have CPR training but lacked the confidence and experience to act.

That’s why I started SureFire CPR. Our classes are practical and engaging – teaching you the crucial skills you need to know what to do and feel empowered to take action.

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Zack Zarrilli, Founder

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