How To Stop Choking On Phlegm?

Choking of Phlegm

Choking on phlegm can be distressing, but there are steps you can take to help clear the airway. Acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can contribute to choking on phlegm. Keep in mind that this advice is not a substitute for professional medical care. Individuals with congestive heart failure should consult their healthcare provider before trying certain medications. If you or someone you know is experiencing severe choking, seek immediate medical attention. Dietary factors, such as avoiding certain foods, can help manage symptoms.

Steps to Stop Choking on Phlegm

Stay Calm

It’s important to remain calm in this situation. Panicking can make it more difficult to think clearly and take the necessary steps.

Cough Gently

Encourage the person to cough if they are able to. Coughing can help clear the airway of phlegm. However, if coughing is ineffective or worsens the situation, move on to the next steps. Excess phlegm can be treated with OTC medications like Mucinex and Robitussin.

Perform Back Blows

Stand behind the person and slightly to one side. Place one arm around their waist for support. Use the heel of your hand to deliver firm, upward blows between the shoulder blades. Repeat this motion up to five times. Lifestyle factors, such as smoking and exposure to irritants, can contribute to phlegm production.

Perform Abdominal Thrusts

If back blows don’t work, move on to abdominal thrusts. Stand behind the person and slightly to one side. Place your arms around their waist. Make a fist with one hand and position it above their navel. Use your other hand to grasp your fist. Give quick, upward thrusts inwards and upwards, as if trying to lift them. Using milk and hot steam can help loosen phlegm.

Continue Alternating Between Back Blows and Abdominal Thrusts

  1. Continue this cycle until the phlegm is dislodged or professional medical help arrives. More mucus can be produced due to irritants and allergies.

Seek Medical Attention if Necessary

If the person is unable to breathe, becomes unconscious, or the situation worsens, call for emergency medical help immediately. Increased mucus production can lead to choking and difficulty swallowing.

Choking Prevention & Readiness

  1. Consider Learning the Heimlich Maneuver - Learning the Heimlich maneuver, a technique designed to dislodge objects from the airway, can be valuable in situations like this. It’s recommended to attend a first aid course to receive proper training. Other medications can help reduce mucus buildup and control symptoms.
  2. Prevent Future Incidents - If the person is prone to choking on phlegm, consider discussing the issue with a healthcare professional. Silent reflux can cause symptoms without typical heartburn. They can offer guidance on managing the underlying cause. A stuffy nose and sinus infections can contribute to phlegm buildup. Stomach acid can cause reflux and throat symptoms. Staying hydrated helps keep mucus thin and easier to clear.


    Remember, the information provided here is intended for immediate, on-the-spot assistance. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Always seek medical attention if the situation is severe or if the choking persists. Your safety and well-being, as well as that of others, should always be the top priorit

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