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CPR for Unresponsive Choking Victims: Learn the Basics

Unresponsive Choking Victims

“Are you skilled to save an unresponsive choking victim?”

Choking can be dangerous for children and adults with no timely medical intervention. It occurs when a person accidentally puts a foreign object in the mouth causing an airway blockage.

So, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR certification to increase survival. 

There are cases where a choking individual will be breathing but unresponsive. Doing CPR on unresponsive choking victims is slightly different as compared to the person who is responsive or conscious.

So, it is recommended to take CPR classes nearby to handle such a medical emergency properly. 

Earlier, we discussed the steps of performing CPR on adults. However, in today’s blog, let’s look at the steps to perform CPR on unresponsive choking victims, which are slightly different from CPR on a conscious person. By the end of the blog, you will also get an idea on where you can get an affordable CPR certification course.

But before we get into the difference between standard CPR and CPR choking victims, we need to look at the difference in the choking symptoms. Understanding these symptoms will be crucial for an effective response.

Choking Signs in Unresponsive and Responsive Person

Choking Signs Unresponsive personResponsive person
Responsive Lack of responsivenessShowing panic or stress 
Ability to make noiseSilent choking Clutching throat 
Skin ColorPale or bluish skinNo discoloration
CoughingNo coughing Persistent coughing 
Breathing Gasping, irregular or no breathing Strained or noisy breathing

How Does CPR Differ in an Unresponsive Adult Choking Victim?

Let’s explore how doing CPR on unresponsive choking victims is different from standard CPR. 

Situation Assessment 

While performing CPR in a normal situation, we assess the situation, check for responsiveness, call 911, and perform chest compression.

However, when a choking person becomes unresponsive, you need to focus on assessing and addressing the airway obstruction.

Airway Assessment 

Similarly, in standard CPR, you perform chest compression and rescue breaths. 

In the CPR choking victims, the primary concern is the blocked airway. So, you keep checking their mouth to remove the visible foreign object.

Chest Compression

In standard CPR, you need to place your hands on the center of the chest. 

Do CPR on unresponsive choking victim and perform abdominal thurst or Heimlich maneuver.

Rescue Breath

In standard CPR, the rescue breaths happen after a certain amount of chest compression. 

However, in unresponsive choking victims, rescue breaths happen after a modified chest thrust, but only when the airway obstruction persists. If rescue breaths are unsuccessful, apply modified chest thrusts before another attempt. 

Key Takeaways 

Steps Standard CPRCPR Choking Victims
Initial AssessmentCheck responsiveness and call for helpAddress airway obstruction
Airway AssessmentNot a big concern Primary concern is the removal of foreign object
Chest CompressionsBoth hands on the chestModified chest thrusts using inward and upward force
SequenceCompression→Rescue breathes →RepeatModified thursts→Rescue breaths→Repeat
FocusRestoring oxygen and blood circulationClearing airway obstructions and rescue breathing 
Monitoring Continuous monitoring Continuous monitoring while addressing airway obstruction

This table highlights the key differences between standard CPR techniques and CPR choking victims. Remember that the primary goal is airway management. Once the obstruction is removed from the throat, you can proceed with standard CPR guidelines.

Now, let’s delve deeper into the AHA guidelines on choking that equip an individual with the necessary knowledge and skills to restore consciousness in an unresponsive choking victim.

What are the AHA Guidelines on Choking?

the airway gets blocked when a person is choking. So, the individual doesn’t get enough oxygen in the lungs.

As a result, brain damage occurs in 4 to 6 minutes. However, using CPR and the Heimlich maneuver helps an individual to revive.

Here is what you should do:

  • Recognize the airway blockage and check for choking noise
  • Give abdominal thrusts slightly above the belly button until the object is thrown out
  • If the person is unresponsive, call 91
  • Give CPR until the person starts breathing again 

How Do You Save a Person From Choking? 

  • Avoid putting small foreign objects in mouths
  • Take small bites and chew thoroughly
  • Avoid giving small solid foods to children, like nuts, beans, or popcorn
  • Cut foods like hotdogs, sausages, or meats into small chunks
  • Alcohol increases the risk of choking, so drink moderately or avoid it

Finding CPR Certification in Frederick County

Your quick response to the understanding of unique CPR techniques can make a big difference. Enhance your knowledge and confidence to respond effectively during a medical emergency with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Many AHA-certified institutions offer CPR classes Frederick MD at any preferred location and schedule. 

Get your CPR certification now