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Injury Facts 2017, choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional injury death. Of the 5,051 people who died from choking in 2015, 2,848 were older than 74.
Food is often responsible for choking incidents in the elderly. Living alone, and having dentures or difficulty swallowing can increase risk. If you see someone clutching their throat, coughing, gagging, wheezing or passed out, would you know what to do?
If a person is coughing forcefully, encourage continued coughing to clear the object.
A person who can't cough, speak or breathe, however, needs immediate help. Ask if they are choking and let them know you will use abdominal thrusts, also known as the Heimlich maneuver, to prevent suffocation. The procedure is not recommended for children younger than 1.
If the victim is or becomes unresponsive, lower the person to the ground, expose the chest and
start CPR. Look inside the mouth and remove any objects.
A few simple behaviors, like chewing food slowly and not drinking too much alcohol, can help prevent choking. Children, however, tend to choke on not only food, but toys and other household items.
Choking is one of the leading causes of unintentional death for infants, who require a different rescue procedure than adults. Clear the airway, and do the following only if the infant cannot cry, cough or breathe:
To prevent choking in children, keep small objects out of reach, cut food into small pieces and don't let them have hard candy. Young children should be supervised while eating and playing.
The number of serious injuries and deaths from ingestion of button batteries has increased ninefold in the last decade.
Take control of environmental factors to keep your baby safe from suffocation.
National Safety Council offers this portable, digital version of its Emergency Medical Response Quick Reference Guide. In addition to a list of abbreviations and memory aids for students, it provides illustrated treatment steps anyone can use to treat many illnesses and injuries.
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