You could save a life.
Let's talk about the 3's. You can live; 3 minutes without oxygen, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. As you can imagine, the first of the 3's, oxygen, is a pretty important one.
Voxie has collected some simple instructional videos that give you the basics of how to be effective in keeping your friend, family member or stranger, who is having trouble, with that first link to life. Timing is important for an open airway and getting oxygen to the brain.
One of the reasons your breath can be compromised is due to an obstructed airway. The Heimlich maneuver is a valuable technique to help a choking victim before they go unconscious.
Opening the airway and making sure you take care of the 'A' (of the ABC's) confirms that the body has the oxygen it needs. This is why we start by making sure we have an open airway.
Should you get to a situation where you can not extract the obstruction, you will need to follow the next steps in lifesaving techniques;
Call 911, or ask a specific bystander to call. Explain that they need to come back to you after they have called. Connecting with a specific bystander will make sure that the call will be made, and that they return to tell you.
Identify someone by their clothing and make eye contact, 'You, in the red shirt, call 911 and tell them we need an ambulance, and tell me what they say.' This helps to mitigate the bystander effect and gets you the help you need.
As the person runs out of oxygen, if you were unable to clear the blockage, they will start to collapse. Assist them to the floor, and check to see if the airway is now clear from the change.
Hopefully, their airway is now clear so you can move on to the next steps until EMS arrives on the scene. Breathing and Circulation (B&C) are what the required solutions to next help to save this life.
Is there a pulse? Are they breathing on their own?
If the answer is no to either question, follow the life-saving skill of basic CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) with the attempt to restart the heart to pump blood that needs that oxygen you are giving to the body, to save precious minutes until medical responders arrive.
EMS will take over from your support as soon as they arrive. The value of your first response in this situation and getting oxygen to this person until help arrives is a gift of life.
Maintaining the ABC's can really be the difference between life and death.
Monica Polo | Monica Polo is Co-Founder and COO of voxie. As a practising interior designer (BID) and a Materials Health and Wellness educator, Monica brings current and relevant practices on how to holistically design a healthier world. This allows her readers, students and clients, to own their own wellness and move toward positive change, at their pace. As a social activist, she weaves the Burning Man, 10 principles into her personal wellness philosophy through her work at the Design Center, at RSID. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her two sons.