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Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices

Languages: English

First Aid - Breathing Emergencies

Training Time: 17 minutes

People can have difficulty breathing for many reasons; these can be universally referred to as breathing emergencies. Breathing emergencies can be caused by choking, a punctured lung, an allergic reaction, exposure to chemicals or other toxins, asthma, and other causes. In this course you’ll learn more about the causes of breathing emergencies, symptoms of breathing emergencies, how to provide first aid, and you'll get guidance on calling for emergency medical assistance.

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Training Content + Interactive Quizzes
People may begin suffering breathing difficulties quickly and for any number of reasons.

People may begin suffering breathing difficulties quickly and for any number of reasons.

If a person is chocking on an object lodged in the throat, the victim may not be able to dislodge the object and will require first aid.

If a person is chocking on an object lodged in the throat, the victim may not be able to dislodge the object and will require first aid.

In some cases, artificial respiration or even CPR will be necessary for a person who’s not breathing.

In some cases, artificial respiration or even CPR will be necessary for a person who’s not breathing.

Learning Objectives

  • List some causes of breathing emergencies
  • List some symptoms of breathing emergencies
  • Describe some initial first aid for a breathing emergency
  • Explain what the Heimlich maneuver is
  • Explain when to perform the Heimlich maneuver
  • Describe how to perform the Heimlich maneuver
  • Explain when to provide artificial respiration
  • Explain how to provide artificial respiration
  • Explain when to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
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First Aid - Breathing Emergencies FAQs

What are breathing emergencies?
“Breathing emergencies” is a general term used to refer to different cases in which a person might be having difficulty breathing or can’t breathe.

What are some causes of breathing emergencies?
Breathing emergencies can have a large number of different causes. These can include allergies, exposures to chemicals or toxins, choking, punctured lungs, and other causes.

What is the first thing to do if someone is having trouble breathing?
Check to see if their airway is clear and, if possible, clear it.

Is it OK to use the Heimlich maneuver if someone is choking?
Yes, but only in serious cases, because performing the Heimlich maneuver can cause serious injuries to the person. If the person can still talk, don’t perform the Heimlich maneuver. Only use the Heimlich maneuver as a last resort.

What other first aid procedures might a person have to perform for a person who is having difficulties breathing?
It’s possible you might have to perform artificial respiration or CPR.

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