Today, we at Perdeby are getting a bit more serious. Thousands of people die from choking
each year and by knowing what to do in this situation, it can easily be prevented. Just
concentrate through these few steps in order to educate yourself on this subject matter.
1. If there is mild choking present, just encourage the person to cough in order to get rid
of the obstruction.
2. With severe choking, where the person can’t breathe, cough or speak, try to perform
back blows. You do this by standing behind them with them leaning forward a bit.
Give five sharp back blows between the person’s shoulder blades with the heel of
your hand (the part between your palm and wrist). If this doesn’t help, proceed by
performing abdominal thrusts*.
3. To perform abdominal thrusts, stand behind the person who is choking. Place your
arms around their waist and bend them forward. Clench your fist and place it above
their belly button. Put your hand over your fist and pull sharply inwards and upwards.
Do this up to five times.
4. If the choking still persists call an ambulance (082 911 or 084 124) immediately.
5. Continue with the cycle of five back blows and five abdominal thrusts until the
Now you know what to do in this situation. It is also recommended to complete a short first
aid course to master these steps.
*NB: Abdominal thrusts shouldn’t be performed on babies under one year old or on pregnant
women. Abdominal thrusts can cause serious injury so only perform them when they are
needed. A person who received abdominal thrusts should also be seen by a doctor or