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Signs of Choking (Complete Airway Obstruction)

Signs of Choking (Complete Airway Obstruction)

A person who is choking (has complete airway obstruction):

  • Can't cry, talk, breathe, or cough.
  • May grasp throat.
  • May become severely anxious or agitated.
  • May turn blue or dusky in color.
  • May pass out.

A choking rescue procedure (the Heimlich maneuver) is used to clear an obstruction in adults and children older than 1 year. Back blows and chest thrusts are used in babies younger than 1 year.

Last Revised: July 11, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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