First Aid

First Aid for Suffocation or Asphyxia

Asphyxia is a condition where the oxygen level reduces in the blood with an increase in the carbon dioxide concentration resulting in death or unconsciousness.

The different types of asphyxia are:

  • Suffocation by toxic gases.
  • Drowning.
  • Choking due to the entry of a foreign substance.
  • Strangulation.
  • Asthma.
  • Severe infections of the throat.
  • Artificial respiration.
  • Fetal asphyxia.

First aid for Suffocation:

  • Firstly ensure a patent airway.
  • Check for the respiratory rate.
  • Check for the level of cyanosis.
  • In case of drowning, tilt the client to one side with head down.
  • If strangulation is the cause then remove the band that is constricting the throat.
  • Asphyxia caused due to swelling of the throat or asthma make the victim sit upright and ensure fresh air.
  • In case of suffocation by gases remove the victim as soon as possible to fresh air.
  • For all the victims loosen the clothing surrounding the neck.
  • If breathing gets restored give sips of cold water.
  • If breathing does not restore then start artificial respiration.

The artificial respiration followed is mouth-to-mouth respiration. Follow the procedure given below:

    Firstly place the victim on his/her back.

  • Tilt his head at the back.
  • Pinch the nostrils.
  • Cover the mouth of the casuality.
  • Blow into his lungs until his chest expands.
  • Repeat it 15-20 times.
  • Blowing of air should be done with an open mouth, covering both the mouth and nose.
  • On the other hand, ensure medical help.
  • If you cannot give two effective breaths, start chest compressions.
  • The first-aider should give 15chest compressions, then give 2 inflations to the lungs and then again start 15 chest compressions.
  • The cycle should be continued until the patient recovers or till medical aid is called for.


When giving chest compressions remember to observe for the following:

  • Bluish discoloration of the face.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Pulse rates (Carotid artery).

If the patient recovers , let the victim rest for sometime and if he does not recover then call for the medical aid immediately.

1 response to First Aid for Suffocation or Asphyxia

  1. this is very helpful… i was looking for what should be done if someone has become unconsious due to being put in a sleeper hold. this is because this happened to a friend of mine recently and i wanted to be sure that the help i gave was right. thank you

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *