How to manage a choking adult
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How to manage a choking adult

Elizabeth Simpson Nurse lecturer and Interprofessional Simulation Centre coordinator, Nursing and Community Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland

Rationale and key points

Choking, or foreign body airway obstruction, is a common, yet treatable, cause of accidental death. This article aims to provide an overview of the skills required when faced with this emergency in adults, including how to recognise this emergency, the immediate management and treatment required, and the necessary aftercare.

Choking usually occurs when a person is eating or drinking.

An obstruction may classified as mild or severe.

For a severe obstruction in a conscious person, it may be necessary to administer back blows and/or abdominal thrusts to remove the obstruction from the airway.

Reflective activity

‘How to’ articles can help to update your practice and ensure it remains evidence based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of:

How this article might change your practice when managing adults who are choking.

Positive elements of your current practice and those that could be enhanced.

Nursing Standard. 31, 3, 42-46. doi: 10.7748/ns.2016.e10542

Correspondence

e.simpson@gcu.ac.uk

Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 27 April 2016

Accepted: 03 June 2016

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