What are the two most common things a child will choke on?

  1. the tip of the milk bag (when you cut off the corner)
  2. the small rubber end of a door stopper (it’s fun to play with and easy to come apart)

This past Saturday morning, the Aim2Walk team huddled together to freshen up their CPR skills. Each of us has taken the course before and is familiar with the fundamentals of CPR; however, some guidelines have changed in the past few years. The updated changes has made it much easier for rescuers and health care providers alike to learn, remember and perform effective CPR. Each of us was given an adult sized manikin (I named mine Frances) to practice chest compressions, head tilts and breaths. The steps were repeated over and over again until we each had it engraved into our memory.


A Summary of CPR for adults

  1. Assess the scene: No fire, No wire, No glass, No gas. This assessment is to ensure that the area is safe for you to be in.
  2. Establish unresponsiveness: Shout “are you ok” close to their ear, gently squeeze or tap shoulder (you want to be sure the person is not sleeping and/or deaf.)
  3. Call for help:  Either direct a bystander to call or make the call yourself. If you are located at public facility ask them to bring a defibrillator.
  4. Check for breathing: open the airway and asses the victim for breathing, take no more than 5 seconds, be cautious of neck movement if victim has possible spinal injury.
  5. Start CPR: chest compressions (30 compressions : 2 breaths) (100 breaths per minute which is the same speed as the beat to the Bee Gee’s song, “Stayin alive”)
  6. After roughly 5 sets of compressions, re-check for breathing.
  7. If still no breathing, continue with compressions, if breathing, continue to asses breathing until EMS arrives.
  8. If a defibrillator is available, continue the compressions and breaths while the bystander sets up the defibrillator. These machines are much easier to use then you may think with step by step instructions.

ImageMichelle demonstrates how to turn over a victim if you are alone to limit possible spinal injuries. Hands above the head, feet crossed and turn. (Michelle you look so tough here)

ImageA team effort to turn a victim with a potential spinal injury when multiple bystanders available. It’s important to compress your arms against the head to turn with limited head movement.

Choking procedures: conscious adults and children with a severe obstruction receive alternating 5 back blows followed by 5 abdominal thrusts until the obstruction is dislodged or they become unconscious. If the victim is pregnant, or is an infant use a combination of 5 back blows with 5 chest thrusts (instead of the abdominal thrusts.)

If and when the victim has become unconscious, call for help if you haven’t already and continue with the same guidelines for CPR.  30 chest compressions and trying to get in two breaths (you may not if the airway is completely obstructed) as well as looking into the mouth for the dislodged item between compressions and breaths.


Karen and her very helpful daughter Faith act as our real life victims. Our instructor shows us how to help a choking child and chocking adult in a wheelchair by getting down to their level.

A few extra CPR tips:

  1. Push hard, push fast: a minimum of 100 compressions/min to a depth of 5cm/in.
  2. Allow for full chest to recoil after each compression: relaxing the pressure on the chest between compressions allows the heart to refill and pump more blood.
  3. Minimize interruption in chest compressions: blood flow stops if compressions stop.
  4. Use protection where needed: Using a face shield or some kind of guard to protect you from victims’ saliva. This will also help stop puke from going into your mouth (it is very common that a victim will puke after/during CPR administration)

Kelly McAllister was our instructor and she did a great job at keeping things fun and easy to remember. CPR is a serious matter and being trained properly could save a life. I strongly recommend learning and training with a professional. If you’re interested in taking a course contact the Lifesaving Society at experts@lifeguarding.com  or phone 416-490-8844.

You never know when you will be in a situation where someone may need your help. To see more of the newest updates for administering CPR please view the Lifesaving Society Youtube clip.

Michelle Wolfe, RMT

2 responses

  1. Pingback: JP Rimando Saved a Life Today! | neurochangers

  2. Pingback: Heart Attacks Spike During The Holidays | neurochangers

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