If an adult is choking, you may observe the following behaviors:
- 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.
- Passing out
- Turning blue: Cyanosis, a blue coloring 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 behavior. They cannot be taught the universal choking sign.
- Difficulty breathing
- Weak cry, weak cough, or both
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/23/2014
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