Advanced Life Support (ALS) Level 3 (VTQ)

117 videos, 6 hours and 42 minutes

Course Content

Infant choking

Video 111 of 117
3 min 39 sec
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Managing Infant Choking Incidents

The Emotional Impact

Remaining Calm and Focused

When dealing with infant choking, it's essential to understand the emotional impact it has on parents, bystanders, or even arriving paramedics. The vulnerability of small children, their rapid deterioration, and the onset of cyanosis (bluish skin coloration) can be extremely frightening. Staying composed is crucial, as panic can hinder effective response.

Unique Considerations for Infants

Adapting Techniques for Babies

Infants have distinct physiological differences, and specific techniques are required:

  • Avoid Abdominal Thrusts: Due to the risk of abdominal damage, abdominal thrusts are not suitable for infants.
  • Effective Use of Gravity: Leverage gravity to your advantage. Position the baby face down along your forearm, using your thumb and forefinger to open the mouth.
  • Gravity-Assisted Position: Place the baby with legs on either side of your arm. Your thumb and forefinger keep the airway clear while the baby rests on your arm, allowing gravity to aid in draining liquids away.
  • Modified Recovery Position: For face-down positioning, elevate the baby's head and keep the feet up, maintaining control.

This posture not only helps manage the airway but also prevents liquids or mucus from obstructing it, as infants typically consume liquids rather than solids.

Responding to Infant Choking

Step-by-Step Approach

Follow this sequence to address infant choking:

  1. Forearm Placement: Lay the baby face down on your forearm, securing their legs on either side and using your thumb and forefinger to keep the airway open.
  2. Back Slaps and Airway Clearance: While maintaining the open airway, gently pat the baby's back to clear the airway and manage mucus using appropriate tools.
  3. Continuing Efforts: If the obstruction persists, transition the baby onto their back in the "sniffing the morning air" position with a slightly open airway.
  4. Chest Compressions: Administer chest compressions using two fingers to create airflow through the airway, aiming to dislodge the blockage.
  5. Back to Forearm Position: If necessary, return to the forearm position to perform back slaps and maintain an open airway.
  6. Repeat as Needed: Continue these steps until the airway is clear, patent, and the baby starts showing signs of recovery, such as crying.

Remember, prompt and effective action is crucial in managing infant choking incidents.