Cobb County Government

Choking

If someone is choking you should CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY. Do not wait, hoping that the object will clear. Our Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians would much rather arrive on the scene and be no longer needed than to arrive with someone in cardiac arrest due to a blocked airway. Remember these facts next time you witness a possible choking:

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This is the universal sign for choking (left). If you witness someone showing this sign or one similar in which you suspect choking, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY. After calling 911, attempt to dislodge the object by using the Heimlich maneuver (below).

If you have not been trained to use this maneuver, most restaurants have a poster that details the procedure. The best solution is to be trained in CPR. A CPR course also includes foreign body airway obstruction (choking) training.

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This illustration that shows the proper hand placement during the Heimlich maneuver. Pull your hands up into the patients diaphragm with quick thrusts. This maneuver is effective in dislodging small to moderate airway obstructions.

If you are the only bystander on the scene, CALL 911 FIRST!

If other bystanders are present, yell for someone to CALL 911.