How to Help Someone Who is Choking: A Step-by-Step Guide

Choking is a potentially life-threatening emergency that occurs when an object becomes lodged in the airway, obstructing the flow of air. Prompt action is essential to clear the obstruction and restore normal breathing. Knowing how to help someone who is choking can make a significant difference in their outcome. In this blog post, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to assist a choking individual, emphasizing the importance of quick response and the resources provided by MyCPR NOW to enhance your knowledge and preparedness in choking emergencies.

MyCPR NOW Resources for Choking Emergencies:

MyCPR NOW offers valuable resources to help you learn and improve your skills in managing choking situations. These resources include:

1. Interactive Learning Modules:
MyCPR NOW's interactive learning modules provide step-by-step instructions, visual aids, and interactive exercises to enhance your understanding and proficiency in choking management. These modules offer a dynamic and engaging learning experience.

2. Expert Insights:
The choking management resources provided by MyCPR NOW are curated by healthcare professionals and experts in the field. They ensure that the techniques and information taught align with recognized guidelines and best practices.

3. Video Demonstrations:
MyCPR NOW provides video demonstrations of choking management techniques, showcasing the correct procedures and providing practical guidance for effective intervention.

Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Someone Who is Choking:

Step 1: Assess the Severity of Choking:

- Ask the person if they are choking. If they are unable to speak or cough, or if they are making high-pitched or silent sounds, it indicates a severe obstruction.

Step 2: Encourage Coughing:

- If the person can cough forcefully, encourage them to continue coughing to try and dislodge the obstruction. Stay by their side and offer support.

Step 3: Perform Back Blows:

- If the person cannot cough effectively, stand slightly behind them and provide support.
- Deliver five back blows between the shoulder blades using the heel of your hand. Apply firm pressure to create a forceful upward motion to dislodge the obstruction.

Step 4: Perform Abdominal Thrusts (Heimlich Maneuver):

- Stand behind the person and wrap your arms around their waist.
- Place a fist just above the navel, slightly below the lower part of the breastbone.
- Grasp your fist with your other hand and deliver inward and upward thrusts to forcefully expel the obstruction.
- Repeat abdominal thrusts up to five times, checking for the dislodgement of the object after each thrust.

Step 5: Alternate Between Back Blows and Abdominal Thrusts:

- Continue alternating back blows and abdominal thrusts until the object is expelled or the person becomes unconscious.

Step 6: Call for Emergency Assistance:

- If the obstruction is not relieved or the person becomes unconscious, call emergency medical services (EMS) or ask someone nearby to do so.

Step 7: Perform CPR if Necessary:

- If the person becomes unconscious, carefully lower them to the ground and start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Follow the guidelines provided by MyCPR NOW for proper CPR technique.

MyCPR NOW emphasizes the importance of seeking professional medical assistance and further intervention if the obstruction is not relieved.


Knowing how to help someone who is choking is a vital skill that can save lives. By following the step-by-step guide provided above and utilizing the resources provided by MyCPR NOW, you can enhance your preparedness and effectiveness in choking emergencies. Remember, quick response, effective back blows, abdominal thrusts, and seeking professional medical assistance are crucial for successful outcomes. With the knowledge and skills gained from MyCPR NOW, you will be better equipped to provide immediate assistance and potentially prevent serious harm to individuals experiencing choking incidents.

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