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Getting Acquainted with Medical Emergencies — Blocked Airways

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We do not know what will happen in the next few hours as we mundanely live our lives. Most of the time, our day usually ends, and we sleep peacefully. However, there are chances of going into an emergency that can jeopardize our lives. And, it is in these situations that a CPR online certification can prove to be important.

If we are all well-trained in dealing with emergencies, we can save lives. Below are just a few of the most common emergencies that we may experience first-hand, whether it is our loved ones or someone close by.

Problems in Breathing

Breathing problems may be a result of a variety of causes. They may be suffering from a stroke, a heart attack, or a severe injury that leads to a severe block in the air passageways.

The Signs

  • Breathing becomes uncomfortable and hard to do. Additionally, it may become a lot faster or slower
  • There is a presence of a weak cough
  • Noise is heard with breathing
  • The patient loses the ability to speak


Asthma is the most common situation that makes patients experience breathing problems. Most people with asthma are well-aware of their condition so they always have an inhaler with them all the time. At times, their asthma attack may be severe, that they would need another person to facilitate and help them with the inhaler.

Here are the things you need to do when someone close by is having an asthma attack:

  • Observe the surroundings to ensure there is no hazard.
  • Confirm if the patient needs help with the inhaler.
  • If the inhaler is not available, immediately call for medical help through EMS.
  • You can also ask bystanders to do the call for you when you are attending to the patient.
  • Never leave the patient until medical help arrives.
  • When the patient becomes unconscious, start CPR.


Choking is another medical emergency that affects the breathing of a person. It can cause a more severe obstruction of the airways, making it more difficult to breathe. In the worst-case scenario, a patient may have a completely blocked airway and will need to have immediate care administered as soon as possible.
Note that the standard sign, if you are choking, is to grab your throat. Educate your family and friends so they can ask for help, as choking takes away your ability to speak.

What to Do

  • When the patient is still responsive, do the Heimlich Maneuver
  • When they start to become unresponsive, immediately ask for medical help by calling EMS yourself or asking a bystander to do it
  • At the same time, you should also be doing CPR at this point. Never stop doing CPR until the right medical professionals arrive.
  • If the patient is pregnant, never do the Heimlich Maneuver with them from the back. Instead, as what you have learned from a CPR online certification course, have them lay down with their back flat on the floor and start doing careful abdominal thrusts