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Choking (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Choking is an emergency. It can quickly result in death if not treated promptly. Call your local emergency medical services at 911 instead of your doctor. 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.

Although it only takes one person to administer first aid to the choking victim, there are other duties to perform. As you prepare to help the choking victim always shout for help. Have other bystanders call the 911 emergency medical system.

  • While waiting for the ambulance, follow the steps listed in the Self-Care at Home section of this article.
  • If the choking episode is successfully treated at home and there is no fear that other objects may still be in the airway, a visit to the hospital may not be necessary.

If you are alone and no one responds to your calls for help, do not leave the choking person to call 911. Begin first aid immediately.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/23/2014

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