CHOKING, SUFFOCATION AND SHOCK
Choking is when one is not able to breathe. Choking is caused by food or foreign objects such as seeds, bones and coins stuck in the throat or air passage making breathing difficult.
Encourage the casualty to cough – Give back slaps – Obstruction Avoid putting foreign objects in the mouth. Children should not play while eating.
If casualty is breathing, encourage him/her to cough as this will help to dislodge the obstruction.
For babies, hold upside down by the legs and pat gently on the upper part of the back until the object pops out.
For older children and adults, hit the person sharply with the palm of the hand between the shoulder blades until the object pops out.
You can also stand behind the casualty, link your hand below their naval, press the belly with strong jerks until the object pops out.
- Suffocation occurs when there is inadequate supply of fresh air or when the wind pipe is blocked, hence preventing air from getting into the lungs.
- A child wearing a polythene bag over his/her head – Dispose off polythene bags appropriately.
- Cooking stoves should be used in well ventilated rooms.
- Replace worn out gas tubes.
- Identity the cause and act appropriately. If it’s the lack of fresh air, take the person outside to an airy place.
- If it is due to a polythene bag getting stuck in the head, remove it.
- Check the airways are open and the casualty is breathing.
- If breathing has stopped, start artificial respiration.
- Take casualty to hospital for further assessment and management.
Shock is a temporary lack of supply of blood to the brain and other vital organs.
It is caused by upsetting or good news and events such as electric shock, excessive injury, and illness.
- Severe bleeding, either internal or external.
- Loss of plasma in burns or crash injuries.
- Heart failure as in acute heart attacks.
- Loss of body fluid from recurrent vomiting or severe diarrhoea.
- Acute abdominal emergencies, example perforation of stomach or ruptured appendix.
- All electric wires should be well insulated and defective equipment repaired and replaced.
- Do not touch electric switches and appliances with wet hands.
- Prepare one for bad news
- Lay the casualty down and deal with the injury or underlying cause of the shock.
- Raise and support legs to improve the blood supply to the vital organs.
- Loosen tight clothing at chest, neck, waist to reduce constriction in these areas.
- Protect when necessary with a blanket or sheet.
- Do not give casualty anything to drink.
- Take him to hospital as soon as possible.
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