How do you react when a child stops breathing?

  • News
  • Post ,


    Read 3 minutes


    A new trial of the parents of little Lillian, who died of asphyxiation after eating nacky sausage at the age of two, and the Harta Group opened on June 20. With Dr. Gerald Kierkez, Doctisimo’s Emergency Physician and Medical Director, an opportunity to recall how to respond well to a suffocating baby.

    Little Lillian died at the age of two years and 11 months after suffocating in a Herta brand Knacki sausage. Following the release of the food group in the first instance, in January 2021, at the Dax Criminal Court, the court ordered an expert report to measure the “spongy and sticky” nature of Naki or their “swelling in contact with the saliva of children”. On their behalf, the child’s parents are still asking for better information on the packages so that this tragedy does not happen again.

    What to do when you stop breathing?

    The first cause of cardiorespiratory arrest in children under 8 years of age, is to take quick care of the respiratory tract to close the trachea. Support strategies are somewhat different for adults or children.

    Two scenarios

    According to Dr. Kierkegaard, when a person stops breathing, there are two situations.

    • Either he speaks and coughs, he can breathe. In this case, it is advisable not to do anything because there is no emergency. Conversely, an unnecessary gesture can displace a foreign body that partially blocks the airways and risks complete obstruction. “ First indicate the emergency doctor. “Once healed, the person may be able to consult and have a fibroscopy of the material that kept him from breathing, if he did not spit it out.
    • In the second case, the person who is choking does not emit any sound, he cannot speak or breathe, he turns blue. “There, you have to react quickly, with a big slap in the shoulder blade, number five, when the person leans forward. “. If this technique is not enough to spread the beans, after five slaps, you need to go for the Heimlich technique to make a piston.

    The tactic is to surround the person who is suffocating with his hands by placing himself behind his back, placing his hands at the level of his abdomen and pressing hard on himself and upwards to create extra pressure at the level of the diaphragm and allow the person. To get the trapped foreign body out “ Dr. Kierkegaard added.

    At the same time, you need to alert the emergency services and not stop alternating between these two strategies until the person spits. “.

    What is the difference between children?

    In the case of children, the two cases must be distinguished in the same way. If the child is more than two years old, proceed as an adult.

    On the other hand, if the child is less than two years old, he should be picked up and seated and laid on his stomach along with his own legs, his mouth should be exposed. He should be slapped on the back to stay in this position, slightly sloping, to open the trachea. “After five slaps in the shoulder blade, if that doesn’t work, you’ll have to turn the baby on his back and push him into his stomach, a muffinson technique for children under two. “ Reveals Dr. Kierkegaard again.


    On the other hand, the emergency doctor advised to take the child by the legs to move him upside down. Finally, regardless of the outcome of the intervention, especially if the person recovers after stopping breathing and spitting, a physician should be consulted in all cases.

    Focus on prevention

    Prevention is especially important in the case of children. In fact, their trachea is about the diameter of a finger, so something big can block it. “So you need to think about cutting the food into small pieces, but eating in peace, without talking or getting excited, and outside of the food, you need to pay special attention to the little things and toys that young children like to put in their mouths. “ Again the doctor adds.

    Beware of penetration syndrome!

    Finally, in a special case that children may be unnoticed: penetration syndrome. “In this case, the child suffocates, coughs and then recovers. The problem is that the foreign body has passed through the trachea, so it will remain in place and there will be a risk of infection. The baby needs to be seen quickly for chest X-ray and fibroscopy to remove the object. “ Gerald Kierkegaard says.

    Leave a Comment