Choking can result in unconsciousness or cardiopulmonary arrest. Believe it or not, thousands of people die as a direct result of choking every year. People do not always choke at home either, choking obviously can happen anywhere. There are preventative measures that can be taken to lessen the odds of choking such as cutting food into smaller pieces, chew food slowly and thoroughly, and keep small objects out of the reach of small children. However, sometimes choking can not be avoided and that is when someone with first aid training for choking can be the matter of life or death.
First aid training for choking teaches you exactly what to do in this situation, by first asking the person if they are choking. Now that may seem a bit strange to ask but in fact if they are able to answer, if they are coughing, or they can breathe then monitor the situation but do not interfere. On the contrary, if they can not do these things then you are going to have to step in and perform the Heimlich maneuver.
This is where first aid training taught you to remain calm and in control and precisely what to so, step by step. You are going to get behind them so that their back is against your front and you are going to put your arms around their diaphragm area and thrust slowly and repeatedly until the foreign object comes out.
If the person falls into an unconscious state or is pregnant then you will obviously not be able to perform the Heimlich this way and will have to lay them on the ground on their back and do chest thrusts. This may also have to be done if the person is very overweight too.
This could take a few times or more before you dislodge whatever is stuck in their throat but be persistent. If the person is or becomes unconscious then you must lay them flat on their back with their arms at their side, while someone else is calling 911, and with the jaw open and the head tilted back you will have to use your fingers to sweep the object out.
The key at this point is removing the lodged object and if necessary then perform CPR. This is all of the information that you would receive in first aid training for choking course. They would also teach you how to do things a bit different if the person choking is an infant or small child.