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.
- Choking due to the entry of a foreign substance.
- 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.