What to do if an adult is choking
The information below is no replacement for attending a first aid course where you will have the opportunity to practice your skills under the guidance of one of our qualified and experienced first aid instructors.
Choking - Adult
Encourage the patient to cough. If the choking is only mild this will clear the obstruction and the patient should be able to speak to you.
1. Back blows
Shout for help
Lean the casualty forward (supporting the upper chest with one hand)
Give up to 5 firm blows between the shoulder blades with the other hand. Check between blows and stop if you clear the obstruction.
2. Abdominal thrusts
Stand behind the casualty. Lean them forward and Place both your arms around their stomach.
Make a fist with one hand and place it over the abdomen (below the ribs) with your thumb inwards.
Grasp this fist with your other hand, then pull sharply inwards and upwards in one motion.
Do this up to 5 times. Check between thrusts and stop if you clear the obstruction.
If the obstruction is still not cleared:
3. Repeat steps 1 & 2:
5 Back Blows followed by 5 Abdominal Thrusts
After three cycles or if the treatment seems ineffective earlier in the process, shout for help. Ask someone to dial 999 or 112 for an ambulance, but don't interrupt the treatment whilst the patient is still conscious.
Casualties should seek medical attention if they:
Have received abdominal thrusts
Have difficulty swallowing or feel as though they have an object stuck in their throat.