80 people die from choking every year in Australia

Choking is the second biggest cause of death in aged care

11% of child deaths under eight are attributed to choking



Choking occurs when a small foreign object or food becomes lodged in the throat, blocking the passage of air to the lungs. It may also result from an allergic reaction, which causes the throat to swell and close up. Lack of oxygen can cause brain damage and even death in as little as six minutes. 

Seek medical assistance immediately for choking.



If someone is choking, encourage them to cough hard. Then, alternate between giving them five hard “back blows” between the shoulder blades with the heel of your hand and five “abdominal thrusts” – pulling sharply inwards with your arms around their waist.

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