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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Injuries and Wounds > Choking in the Conscious Infant: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > First Aid

Choking in the Conscious Infant

Alternate Names : Obstructed Airway

Choking in the Conscious Infant | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the injury?

If choking is suspected in a conscious infant:

  • Nothing should be done if the infant can still cough, breathe, or cry.
  • If the infant is conscious, do not try to grasp any object lodged in the throat, because this may push it down further.
  • No first aid steps should be started until it is certain that the infant is actually choking. If the infant is actually choking, coughing and crying will be very weak or impossible, and the infant's distress will be very obvious.
  • If the person performing first aid is alone, he or she should shout for help and begin first aid. If another person is there, he or she should contact local emergency medical services.

    First aid in the choking infant includes the following steps:

  • Lay the infant face down along the forearm with the baby's head lower than its body. The lap can be used to support the baby.
  • With the infant lying face down, use the heel of the hand to give 5 sharp blows to the back between the shoulder blades.
  • The infant is then turned over, again keeping the head lower than the body. Two fingers are placed on the breastbone just below the nipple line, and 5 thrusts are given. Depress the breastbone one half to one inch each time.
  • This series of 5 back blows and 5 chest thrusts is continued until the airway is cleared or until the child loses consciousness.
  • If the child does lose consciousness, the procedures for choking in the unconscious infant should be followed.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Back blows and chest thrusts can cause vomiting, injuries to internal organs, or broken ribs. Vomiting can be a problem if the vomited material is caught in the airway and inhaled into the lungs.

    What happens after treatment for the injury?

    It is important to obtain medical care from a healthcare professional for an infant who has choked. Occasionally, an object will enter the lung instead of being expelled. This can cause coughing, wheezing, or aspiration pneumonia.

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    Choking in the Conscious Infant: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: James Broomfield, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/05/01

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