National health standards and elements

Choking in adults and children

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Choking in adults and children

What is it?

A severe obstruction is when a person is unable to speak, cry, cough or breathe. A mild obstruction is when a person finds it difficult to breath, but is able to speak, cry, cough or breathe. Encouraging them to cough will enable them to clear the obstruction.

  • Adults:

    1. Encourage the person to cough

    2. With the heel of your hand, give 5 quick, hard slaps to the person's upper back.

    3. If that doesn't work, stand behind the person, place one foot between the person's legs so that you can support them if they lose consciousness. Make a fist and press your thumb against person's body, directly beneath the ribcage. Grab your fist with your free hand and push your fist in and up, pressing hard on the diaphragm. Repeat until object is dislodged. Check the throat if necessary.

    4. If person becomes unconscious, begin CPR.

  • Babies:

    1. Hold baby, face-down, on your forearm, balancing their head in your palm. Be careful not to block their mouth or twist their neck.

    2. Keeping the baby's head low, give 5 sharp blows with the heel of your hand to the baby's upper back. Check the baby's mouth, remove food.

    3. If the airway remains blocked, turn the child so that it is now face-up on your forearm, still keeping its head low. With three fingers, administer five sharp downward thrusts directly below baby’s ribcage.

    4. If this fails, begin CPR.


A stroke is a condition where a blood clot or ruptured artery or blood vessel interrupts blood flow to an area of the brain. A lack of oxygen and glucose (sugar) flowing to the brain leads to the death of brain cells and brain damage, often resulting in an impairment in speech, movement, and memory.
Stroke Facts:.

  • In the United States, stroke is the third leading cause of death, killing about 137,000 people each year, and a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability.

  • Approximately 795,000 strokes will occur this year.

  • Approximately 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year.

  • African Americans have almost twice the risk of first-ever stroke compared with whites.

  • Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke, increasing risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death.

Types of Stroke:

  • Ischemic stroke occurs when arteries are blocked by blood clots or by the gradual build-up of plaque and other fatty deposits. About 87 percent of all strokes are ischemic.

  • Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain breaks leaking blood into the brain.

    • Hemorrhagic strokes account for thirteen percent of all strokes, yet are responsible for more than thirty percent of all stroke deaths.

F=Face--ask the person to smile. If one side of the face appears crooked or drooping this person may be having a stroke

A=Arms--ask the person to lift both of his or her arms in the air--if he or she has difficulty with one arm this too might be a sign that this person is having a stroke
S=Speech--ask the person to speak. If his or her words are slurred or they are unable to speak, they might be having a stroke
T=T is for time. If any of the above symptoms are present you must call 911 immediately in order to make sure that this person reaches the hospital FAST.

Allow students to choose an option that will allow them to show they understand the warning signs and appropriate action.

1. Draw a series of cartoons that show the warning signs.

2. Create a skit with a small group that will show the warning signs.

3. Write a poem that illustrates the warning signs.
Reducing Stroke Risk

  • Everyone has some stroke risk. Some risk factors are beyond your control, including being over age 55, being a male (stroke is more common in men than women at younger ages, but more women experience strokes at older ages and more women than men die from stroke), being African-American, having diabetes, and having a family history of stroke. If you have one of these risk factors, it is even more important that you learn about the lifestyle and medical changes you can make to prevent a stroke. Learn more by reading the Prevention Guidelines below.

Medical stroke risk factors include:

  • Previous stroke, previous episode of TIA or mini stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, atrial fibrillation and carotid artery disease. These medical risk factors can be controlled and managed even if you have already had issues with any of them in the past. Talk with your doctor about what will work best for you.

Lifestyle stroke risk factors include:

  • Smoking, being overweight and drinking too much alcohol. You can control these lifestyle risk factors by quitting smoking, exercising regularly, watching what and how much you eat and limiting alcohol consumption.


  1. Identify the steps in the chain of survival

Call emergency medical services (911), CPR, defibrillation, and advanced care

  1. What is the basic cycle of CPR?

Two rescue breaths followed by 30 chest compressions

  1. What is the universal sign for choking?

Clutching the throat

  • Students find a new song that contains 100 to 103 beats per minute.

  • Students create mini-posters promoting the website and display them throughout the school.

  • Create a mini "Skill Card" to display at home and at school.

  • Students search for more information about Hands-Only CPR and create a PowerPoint slide show or research paper.


Student’s show proficiency by giving correct answers on the student handout and by creating a "Skill Card" that accurately and effectively tells how to do Hands-Only CPR.

Students will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the rescue procedures for a conscious and unconscious victim for an obstructed airway and for cardiac arrest

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