BLS Basic life support (Latest 2020 AHA)

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Relief of choking

Choking in infants

Choking can happen when something blocks the airway. The air cannot come in and out of lungs. The victim will not be able to cry / make any sounds if there’s a complete obstruction.
Infants (under 1 yr of age) often swallow small objects/toys/coins that might lead to choking. 
If the choking is partial (some air movement is possible), the victim may be able to cry or make sounds.
In either case, the rescuer must act fast.
Victims of such age may not comply if you ask them to cough.
Start giving back slaps and chest thrusts.


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– Assume a seated position (in a chair) and hold the infant facedown on your forearm, which is resting on your thigh. Support the infant’s head and neck with your hand, and place the head lower than the trunk (maintain the inclination / slope).
– Slap the infant gently but firmly five times on the middle of the back using the heel of your hand. The combination of gravity and the back blows should release the blocking object.
– If the choking is not relieved, turn the infant faceup on your forearm, resting on your thigh with the head lower than the trunk. Using two fingers placed at the center of the infant’s breastbone, give five quick chest compressions. Press down about 1 1/2 inches, and let the chest rise again in between each compression.
Repeat the back blows and chest thrusts if breathing doesn’t resume (Still choking). Call for emergency medical help.
Begin infant CPR if one of these techniques opens the airway but the infant doesn’t resume breathing.

Choking in an unconscious victim

When the infant loses consciousness, abandon methods to relieve choking and place the victim on a firm flat surface.
Begin CPR with one slight modification.
Before every breath (during 30:2 CPR with single rescuer and 15:2 with two rescuers), open the airway and look for any visible object that can be retrieved safely.
If an object is not visible, continue CPR, NEVER perform a blind finger sweep as it might push the object further deep.