Top Tips To Save Yourself From Choking
There is hardly anything more relaxing than spending a night by yourself; a couple of strong beers, takeout, and a good Netflix show. Then, the unavoidable happens. That last bite of that tasty burrito gets caught in your throat.
You’re suffocating. Time’s running fast now. All you’ve got is merely minutes before your brain starts to suffer serious damage. In 10 minutes, you won’t be here anymore, and you’ll never have a chance to tell this story to your grandchildren.
No superhero will show up to save you, but luckily, you can be your own superhero. Here are a few proven top tips to save yourself from choking.
Cough As Forcefully As You Can
Your first instinct when choking is to grasp for air. Instead of this, though, you should try and see if you can slightly cough or make a sound. If you can, there is good news. Your airways aren’t completely blocked, and you might be able to dislodge the chunk with a good cough.
Cough as forcefully as you can, and by all means, resist that instinct of drinking. With your throat almost completely blocked, the liquid could end up in your airways rather than washing away the food.
If the food is still stuck into your throat after two or three coughing attempts, start another emergency procedure immediately.
Try A Push-Up
If coughing didn’t work, or if the food is blocking your airways completely, use a basic push-up motion to hopefully dislodge it.
Get quickly on your knees in a push-up position (we hope you learned how to do push-ups at the gym), then let go of your arms. Let your abdomen and chest smack on the floor. This will hopefully create enough suction to dislodge the obstructive object stuck in your throat.
This method might not be 100% effective, but it’s undoubtedly one of the best methods you can try.
Do The Heimlich Maneuver On Yourself
After a few coughs and a push-up attempt, it’s time to go hard and perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself. You won’t have the time to do a quick YouTube search, so learn how to perform this procedure now.
Luckily, it’s less difficult than it seems. Place your fist between your rib cage and belly button, with the thumb side towards yourself. Now, use your other hand to push the fist as hard and as fast as you can.
These quick movements create suction and air displacement, which will probably dislodge the food.
While this procedure usually works wonders when performed on someone else, it might be hard to exert sufficient force on yourself. So, if it didn’t really work, move fast to the next step.
Use The Back Of A Chair
In this Heimlich alternative, the back of a chair can act like someone else’s fist. Keep your hands in the same position, but instead of using your own force to exert pressure, lean quickly over the back of the chair. This motion should provide enough force to drive food out of its stuck position.
Call An Ambulance
In the past couple minutes, you’ve lost much of the air stored in your lungs and consumed plenty of oxygen trying to propel that piece of food out of your throat. If all seemed to fail, it’s time to call an ambulance.
Since you won’t be able to speak to an operator, your best bet is to make the call from your landline. The operator will know your address and send a team your way.
Some areas also have the technology to locate your cell, but that could be a lengthier path, and you really don’t have the time for that. Sure, if it’s only a cell you have, give it a try and hope for the best.
Get Medical Attention
Once you have finally dislodged that prank, take a breath of fresh air, then seek medical attention anyway.
That chunk could have provoked serious damage to your throat’s soft tissue. The procedures you used might have also caused internal organ damage, such as spleen rupture.
Although you might find it unlikely, there is even a chance that bits of food got into your lungs. If that happened, they might cause inflammation, infections, or even lung collapse.
Obviously, the easier way to be your own savior is to prevent choking in the first place. There is only one way to do it, take smaller bites, chew better, and limit the consumption of alcohol. Indeed, alcohol may change your perception of food, causing you to take bigger bites and chew inadequately.
Alcohol could also prevent your throat muscles from coordinating properly, and that’s a further hazard.
You should also know that it’s not only meat that can get stuck in your throat. Sticky foods could also obstruct your airways. Lozenge and other types of pills could get lodged in your throat too.
Therefore, the best thing to do is to stay aware of how you’re eating or taking medicines, avoid drinking too much alcohol, and learn this emergency routine.
Remember, you have about four minutes before your brain will suffer severe damage and you’ll most likely pass out. So, now that you know these top tips to save yourself from choking, act quickly and be your own superhero.