Choking on something can easily become a very big problem, but quick action from a first aider can help prevent the situation from becoming more serious.
If a casualty begins to choke, first encourage them to cough - in a lot of cases a hearty cough is enough to dislodge whatever was stuck.
If coughing doesn't work, begin to administer back blows - help support the casualty, and with the heel of your free hand give up to 5 back blows between their shoulder blades. Check if the obstruction has cleared between each blow.
If the obstruction hasn't cleared, give the casualty abdominal thrusts - standing behind them, place one hand in-between the casualty's belly button and the bottom of their breastbone. Put your other fist on top and pull sharply inwards and upwards.
Repeat this sharp motion up to 5 times, checking if the obstruction has cleared between each thrust.
Repeat 5 back blows and 5 abdominal thrusts up to 3 times. If the obstruction has still not cleared, call 999 and continue until help arrives.
If the casualty becomes unconscious, begin CPR immediately.
Our handy infogram will take you through the steps to treat someone who may be choking.
If you have any further questions on how to act fast when a casualty begins to choke, feel free to get in touch with our helpful customer care team on 0845 071 0820.