I said goodnight to my long suffering partner as I walked through the lounge to go upstairs to bed one evening. I didn’t get an answer. I thought ‘that was a bit rude’ until I noticed she was catching at her throat (the universal sign of choking!). I asked her if she was alright and got a head shake and a panicked look. She was unable to breathe, let alone speak! She couldn’t cough. She needed first aid.
As the offending packet of Rich Tea biscuits lay on the coffee table, I gave her three strong back blows. Finally, she coughed and took a gasp of air. The bruises to her back showed the force it took to dislodge the sneaky biscuit.
Since this incident, she has never eaten Rich Tea biscuits again! I prefer Hobnobs anyway…
This isn’t the first time that I’ve had to deal with a choking family member. Previous ‘victims’ of choking have been my mother and my grandfather. I’ve even needed to go as far as to perform abdominal thrusts.
I believe that first aid is an important life skill. People die every single day from things that are easily fixed such as choking, or not having somebody open their airway. As with all first aid, this is a simple thing to learn and carry out. And training can even be made fun these days!
No longer do we have the difficulty of holding up a manikin with foam legs or using a boring torso to demonstrate choking treatment on… now, a choking training vest exists allowing for people to practice abdominal thrusts on in a much more realistic way.
Choking treatment is covered on a variety of Absolute First Aid’s courses. We use the Act+ Fast Choking vest on our courses for added realism, it’s also a good way to make the courses a bit more fun.
Learning how to manage a choking casualty really can make a difference, and even save your loved one’s life.