Think Fast: What do you do if you are choking while alone? - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Think Fast: What do you do if you are choking while alone?

This re-enactment shows a person choking on popcorn. (Source: WAFB) This re-enactment shows a person choking on popcorn. (Source: WAFB)
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Do you know what to do if you start choking and there's no one around to help you?

In many cases, it's the ability to think fast that could save your life. But, what happens when you're alone and your survival depends completely on you?

"You're choking; you can't take a breath; you can't make a noise," said Jim Barnett with Baton Rouge EMS. "Obviously, you're going to be scared."

Think fast. What do you do?

"Not panicking is going to be the biggest thing in your choking," Barnett added.

Barnett said staying calm is the first critical step. That way, you have a clear mind to know what comes next. He explained what you should do, for example, while eating popcorn with no one around and you start to choke.

Barnett said in this case, you first want to grab a straight-back chair or the hard edge of a table. Then, aligning the space just above your naval to that edge, you want to thrust your weight against it and repeat until whatever's stuck in your throat is dislodged.

"Basically, what you're trying to do is create the Heimlich maneuver by yourself," Barnett said.

Here is the list of steps of what to do:

Do not panic

Find a straight-backed chair or hard-edged surface

Align your abdomen (just above the naval) to that edge

Drop or thrust your body onto that edge

Repeat until whatever is stuck becomes dislodged

These are just a few simple steps that could, in the most critical of moments, save your life, but only if you think fast.

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