Baby dies after choking at Nursery

A sad story from the BBC tonight, with the untimely death of a 9 month old child, after choking on some food at school.

Choking is one of the things we teach on every First Aid course, and to everybody who’ll listen; and with good reason. In just a few minutes, choking can lead to respiratory arrest and death, or be fully resolved by anyone with 10 minute’s worth of knowledge under their belt.

Minor chokes can be sorted with a good hard cough.

If the person can’t cough and is struggling to breath, give 5 firm blows between the shoulder blades.

If that doesn’t clear things, you need to use abdominal thrusts (in adults and children) or chest thrusts (in infants). Its a lot easier to see how it’s done than it is to read, so here’s the alarmingly cheerful Clive from St John Ambulance with advice for adults and babies

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About Freddie

Having been lured to the world of First Aid at University by the possibility of blue lights, reflective jackets, and yellow helicopters, Freddie's sink or swim moment was treating a spinal injury lying face-down on a rainy hockey pitch. When not traipsing the country for SJA's sake, you can find Freddie soldering iron in hand, or halfway up a rock face. Though not normally at the same time...

2 thoughts on “Baby dies after choking at Nursery

  1. A very good question! Could be any one of a number of reasons, and it would be unfair to speculate while investigations are ongoing. Suffice to say, First Aid is imperfect at the best of times, and sadly even more so with children and babies; so it’s possible to give perfect FA straight away with the same tragic result.

    Babies have incredibly small airways (in a 2 year-old, the trachea is about the diameter of a drinking straw, so it’ll be considerably less in an infant), and very fast metabolisms so need a lot of oxygen. Combine these facts, and a very small piece of food can cause a lot of damage in just a few seconds.

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