Quick response is key during a choking incident.
When air cannot flow into the lungs, serious brain damage occurs quickly. Brain damage is unlikely within the first 4 minutes without air, but brain damage is possible at 4–6 minutes, probable at 6–10 minutes, and severe at 10-plus minutes.
How a choking incident is treated differs by age. It’s important for caregivers of young children and older adults to know what to do if the person in their care chokes.
Here’s a response guide for choking in babies, toddlers, older adults, adults, and yourself.