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First Aid

Absorbed Poisons
Anaphylaxis
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Choking

A piece of food or some other object sometimes lodges in a person's airway,obstructing breathing. Young children can choke on small pieces of food and toy parts. Choking is potentially fatal and immediate first aid is essential.

Partially blocked airway

Signs and symptoms

  • coughing
  • difficulty in breathing
  • blueness of face, neck and extremities.
  • unconsciousness
Warning

If an adult or child can cough, cry or talk, do not slap on the back because this might cause the obstruction to shift and totally block the airway.

First aid treatment

  1. place the unconscious, breathing casualty in the lateral position, monitoring airway, breathing and pulse, and seek medical aid urgently.
  2. Encourage the conscious casualty to relax and encourage coughing. If laboured breathing continues, seek medical aid urgently.

Completely blocked airway

Signs and symptoms

  • inability to cough
  • inability to breathe
  • unconsciousness
  • resistance by the airway to the entry of air, and failure of the chest to rise when expired air resuscitation (EAR) is attempted

First aid treatment

  1. Position the casuality so that the head is slightly lower than the chest. Place a child's head down across your knee, with the chest supported by one hand.
  2. Give 3 to 4 sharp slaps between the shoulder blades.
  3. Seek medical aid urgently.

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