How To Treat a Choking Adult

How To Treat a Choking Adult

How To Treat a Choking Adult

This video from the First Aid Training Co-operative shows you how to treat a conscious adult who you suspect is fully choking and unable to breath or cough.

Hi I’m Tom from the First Aid Training Co-operative and in this video we’re going to show you how to deal with an adult who may be choking.

I have Cory here who’s going to be my choking volunteer so I’m going to ask Cory to pretend to choke.

The first thing I need to do is ask him some questions to find out whether he’s choking and whether he would like some help.

“Cory, are you okay? Are you choking? Would you like some help? Can you cough Cory?”

Okay, by indicating that he can’t cough to me I know that he is fully choking and I need to act quickly.

If Cory was a woman I would ask him if he was pregnant but he’s not so we’ll continue.

I’m going to bring Cory forwards. I’m going to stand him in front of me so that you can see I’m going to give him a hug across the front of his chest and I’m going to lean him forwards.

I’ve got a good grip of him and what I’m going to do is give him five strong back blows between his shoulder blades.

So 1

“Can you speak? Can you cough?”
*Strong Back Blow* 2

“Can you speak? Can you cough?”
*Strong Back Blow* 3

“Can you speak? Can you cough?”
*Strong Back Blow* 4

“Can you speak? Can you cough?”
*Strong Back Blow* 5

“Can you speak? Can you cough?”

I’m asking him every time if he can speak or cough to find out whether I’ve loosened up the object.

It’s not worked so I need to move on now to abdominal thrusts.

Abdominal thrusts

I’m going to stand behind Cory and I’m going to brace myself against his back with my legs good and spread out so I’m in a good strong position.

I need to reach around and find his belly button and what I’m going to do is make a fist with my knuckle, take my thumb knuckle in the way, just above his belly button.

I’m going to hold on to the bottom on my fist with my other hand.

Now on three I’m going to pull in and up into his diaphragm.

*1,2,3, in and up*

“Can you speak Cory? Can you breathe?”

*1,2,3, in and up*

And we’ll say for the purposes of the demonstration that that second time has freed up his airway.

So that is how to deal with choking in an adult casualty.


In summary, the first thing we need to do is find out if our casualty is okay and if they are indeed choking, whether they can cough.

If it cannot cough and are fully choking we need to give them some back slaps.

I’m going to use the mannequin here to show you how hard these back slaps might be.

So holding across the front of the chest and supporting them and I hit them up between the shoulder blades very firmly, if that doesn’t work I might hit him harder the next time.

We did five back slaps, asking questions in between to find out whether they were effective or not.

If one of the five back slaps didn’t work and they were still choking then we would move on to abdominal thrusts.

We do five of those, again asking questions in between.

If it was indeed a pregnant lady, we would swap abdominal thrusts for chest thrusts and we would repeat those two cycles of five back slaps, 5 chest thrusts (in this case) until the situation changed.

If we managed to release the obstruction and the casualty can breathe again we must ensure that they go to hospital for a full checkup