Recognition of Partial Airway Blockage

Recognition of a Partial Blockage

Partial obstruction can be recognised where:

  • Breathing is labored
  • Coughing
  • Breathing may be noisy
  • Some escape of air can be felt from the mouth

Management of a Partial Blockage

  • Encourage the casualty to cough. The person with an effective cough should be given reassurance and encouragement to keep coughing to expel the foreign material
  • Keep the casualty calm
  • If the obstruction is not relieved the rescuer should call an ambulance

DO NOT attempt to dislodge the partial blockage by using back slaps or placing fingers in the casualty’s mouth, this can cause a complete blockage.  

It is better to be getting SOME air, than NO air at all.