Both adults and children may be victims of choking. The first essential is to recognise what is happening. The context may provide important clues. For example, choking is common at mealtimes, or child may have been playing with small objects.
The victim may go silent and hold or point to their throat. If the obstruction to the airway is only partial, the victim may be able to speak, cough and breathe. Encourage them to cough and clear the obstruction, but keep a close eye to make certain that the situation does not get worse.
If the airway is severely obstructed, the victim will not be able to talk, but may be able to respond by nodding or shaking their head. Coughing will be ineffective, breathing will be difficult, noisy or, at worst, impossible. Without treatment the victim will ultimately lose consciousness.
Severe airways obstruction is treated by measures that aim to increase the pressure inside the chest and thereby expel the obstruction.
Watch The Chokeables from St John Ambulance