What if I’m alone and choking

by | Apr 20, 2021

We cover how to provide choking relief for infants, children and adults in every class we give. We can all relate to a scary moment of witnessing someone in trouble with an obstructed airway or perhaps a child swallowing something whole (like a grape)! Hopefully, they were able to clear the object before it turned into an emergency situation.

Fortunately, the classic techniques we teach have an excellent track record of success. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that you’re comfortable acting quickly, knowing what to do, should this type of common emergency present itself.

women with short hair choking and holding neck

The question often comes up in class “What if you’re alone or the people around you don’t know how to help you and you’re choking?” Certainly we’ve all experienced swallowing food too fast or not chewing it enough and it’s definitely frightening! You can’t exactly give abdominal thrusts to yourself, or can you? Desperate times call for desperate measures!

Here’s a few things to keep in mind should this happen to you.

  1. Make a fist with your strongest hand, clasp your other hand over it for support and place directly above the navel but below the ribs.
  2. As forcefully as you can, thrust upward and inward and try to lean forward the slightest bit.

Because it helps to lean forward a bit you may be more comfortable using the back of a chair, couch, countertop or any sturdy piece of furniture that’s about the height of your waist. If you’re the type of person who likes to have a plan in place then go ahead and get picky about it! Something padded with an inch or two in width would be ideal as a platform to lay your abdominal region over! With your hands still firmly clasped in the same location discussed earlier, lean into this sturdy furniture to provide

an even stronger abdominal thrust. Don’t forget the inward and upward motion as you’re leaning into it.

Of course call 911 and put your phone on speaker as you’re trying this in the event your efforts aren’t working and you’re unsuccessful in relieving the blockage!

Not something we think much about but that’s exactly why you should have a plan! We’re all busy and preoccupied much of the time while stuffing some food in our mouths and multi-tasking. It’s good to have a plan in case the unexpected happens and there’s no one there to help you!


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