First Aid: Choking/ Blocked Airway by Famhealth

Choking is a blockage of the upper airway/throat by food or other objects, which prevents a person from breathing effectively. Choking can cause a simple coughing fit, but complete blockage of the airway may lead to death.

Choking is a true medical emergency that requires fast, appropriate action by anyone available. Emergency medical teams may not arrive in time to save a choking person’s life.

In adults, choking most often occurs when food is not chewed properly. Talking or laughing while eating may cause a piece of food to “go down the wrong pipe.” Normal swallowing mechanisms may be slowed if a person has been drinking alcohol or taking drugs, and if the person has certain illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease.

Choking Symptoms

If an adult is choking, you may observe the following behaviours:

  • Coughing or gagging
  • Hand signals and panic (sometimes pointing to the throat)
  • Sudden inability to talk
  • Clutching the throat: The natural response to choking is to grab the throat with one or both hands. This is the universal choking sign and a way of telling people around you that you are choking.
  • Wheezing
  • Passing out
  • Turning blue: Cyanosis, a blue colouring to the skin, can be seen earliest around the face, lips, and fingernail beds. You may see this, but other critical choking signs would appear first.
  • If an infant is choking, more attention must be paid to an infant’s behaviour. They cannot be taught the universal choking sign.
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weak cry, weak cough, or both

How to help someone who is choking?

Do not hesitate to call for emergency help if you believe a person is choking. Do not attempt to drive a choking person to a hospital emergency department.

What to do if a person is choking:

  • It is best not to do anything if the person is coughing forcefully and not turning a bluish colour. Ask, “Are you choking?” If the person is able to answer you by speaking, it is a partial airway obstruction. Stay with the person and encourage him or her to cough until the obstruction is cleared.
  • Do not give the person anything to drink because fluids may take up space needed for the passage of air
  • If the material is not yet removed, then follow Heimlich manever.

Heimlich maneuver steps

  • Comfort the victim. A person will start to panic when they are choking. Go to the victim and reassure them that you know the Heimlich manure and begin assistance. Let the sufferer know that he must remain calm, and should follow your instructions. Then get working!! 
  • Have the choking victim stand. For the Heimlich maneuver to work successfully, the choking victim must be up on their feet. If the victim is unstable or panicking you can help support them
  • Get behind the person who is choking. For the next phase of the Heimlich maneuver you need to put yourself in the right position. Get behind the person who is choking. 
  • Carefully hug the choking victim. Place your hands around the victim’s chest when you are standing behind the victim. The victim’s arms should be up and away from yours. You have to get a good hold on the person’s trunk. 
  • Close your hand in a fist. As you are hugging from behind, put your hand exactly in the middle of the person’s chest in the form of a fist. Do not tuck your thumb into your hand; it needs to be on the outside, pointed up. Place your fist above the area of the navel (belly button). There is no time to be modest and it may be required that any heavy clothing worn by the victim be removed to find the proper first placement. Whatever needs to be done in order to keep the victim from choking to death must be done. 
  • Take a hold of your fist. Create the perfect circle when you grab your fist with your free hand. Do not release your grip on your fist. 
  • Begin to thrust. Hold your arms closely; with the one hand still closed tight, push inward and up in one motion. You need to thrust hard on the victim’s abdomen. To dislodge the object blocking the victim’s airways, do the strong fisted thrust five times squeezing stronger each time. A firm thrust will also bring air from the person’s airways, making them cough. To do it right, you have to go deep, although it may hurt the victim. Don’t let this worry you! He will always be thankful for your forceful methods when he can breathe once again. Keep doing this until the item they were choking on is expelled. 

Through out the Heimlich maneuver, it is vital to keep a good hold of the victim in case becomes unconscious. If the maneuver is successful, sit the victim down again and don’t leave him until his breathing gets back to normal.

To read more on First Aid, click on the link below.

Importance of Health Checks By Famhealth

Importance Of Regular
Health Checks

Regular health exams and tests are vital to detect problems
before they arrive. Health checks improve the chance of fighting against
diseases and infections. The kind of health check to be done
depends on your age, health and family history, and lifestyle choices such
as what you eat, how active you are, and whether you smoke.

Health Check

Importance of Health Checks By Famhealth

A health check is a routine examination of your present state of health, often carried out by your GP. As we grow old we become prone to many infections and diseases and every stage of life demands different set of health checks.

Importance of the health checks?

The purpose of a health check is to help find and cure the illness before it appears. Based on your family history and your current health status the doctor might be able detect some problems at an early stage, which can timely cure the problems.

What can a health check consist of?

  • Review of your medical history and examining your health issues
  • To perform the routine medical tests
  • Follow up of any diseased condition
  • Doctor can provide counseling on any new diseased condition

A wide range of health checks recommended at different stages of life.

Health checks for planning pregnancy:

Health checks can be performed three months prior to the pregnancy and this is known as the preconception period.

Here is a list of some tests which one can perform before getting pregnant:

Pap test

Performed by: GP or gynecologist

Need for the test: Currently, Pap test screening is usually advised in women from age 18 or 2 years after first having sexual intercourse. This test can detect the cancer caused by the virus known as human pappiloma virus.

Dental check

Performed by: Dentist

Need for the test-Oral cavity is the gateway to our body. A poor dental hygiene can even cause heart diseases. A regular dental check up is vital to maintain a good dental health. Dentist may prescribe filling the carious tooth or may recommend a root canal procedure in case of badly carious tooth.

Checking the immunization status:

Who performs: GP and pathology laboratory

Why:  A simple blood test can reveal whether you have immunity to infections that may be harmful to a pregnancy such as rubella, varicella (chicken pox) and influenza.

General health and blood tests

Carried out by: Arranged by your GP

Why:  You may need blood tests to check for thyroid function, blood glucose levels or for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). You may also need a full blood count to check your iron and folate levels. Your doctor can help you determine what checks are suitable for you.

During pregnancy

Several different health checks may be available to you during pregnancy, including abdominal palpitations, ultrasounds, maternal serum screening test (MSS) and amniocentesis just to name a few. Check with your doctor or gynecologist on which tests you might need.

Health checks for newborns and children

Baby and child health checks

Carried out by: Pediatrician performs health checks in children and infants to assess the rate of growth, height gain and if the child is infection free.

Which health checks are required in 20s and 30s?

Some tests which doctors recommend during time include:

  • Measuring the Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol and glucose levels
  • Pap tests and pelvic exams
  • Dental check and cleaning
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STI) screenings
  • Testes examination
  • Healthy weight assessments

Health checks required in 40s

As we reach 40s body becomes less active to fight against infections. Also, the metabolic rate declines. To ensure a healthy functioning of the body, doctor may recommend below tests:

  • Eye check
  • Breast checks.
  • Health assessment for people with a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Prostate check

Health checkups recommended after 50s and later on

As you move into your 50s, regular preventive health checks with your GP become even more important. Make sure to continue with the regular checks you were getting in previous years including eye checks, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels.

After 50s doctors prescribe below mentioned tests:

  • Breast check and mammogram
  • Bone density scan
  • Faecal occult blood test (FOBT)- To test the bowel cancer
  • Hearing assessment