Abdominal Thrusts For A Choking Victim


Initiating abdominal thrusts may help a person who is choking on food or another object if it gets stuck in the airway in the throat – stopping air from getting to the lungs.

Some choking is mild and some is severe. Here’s how to tell which is which, and when and how to perform abdominal thrusts…


The choking is mild if…

…the person can make sounds or can cough loudly. Stand by and let the person cough.

The choking is severe if…

…the person cannot breathe, or has a cough that has no sound, or cannot talk, or make a sound, or makes the choking sign (grasping at the throat).

If it’s severe, act fast to get the object out so the person can breathe.


How To Do Abdominal Thrusts

Get behind him.

Wrap your arms around him so that your hands are in front.

Make a fist with one hand.

Put the thumb side of your fist slightly above his belly button and well below the breastbone.

Grasp the fist with your other hand and give quick upward thrusts into his abdomen, as though you are trying to lift the person.

Give thrusts until the object is forced out and he can breathe, cough, or talk.


image source: the American Heart Association