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Inspiring NHS worker saves toddler from choking.

Posted on March 2021 By Jamie Southwell

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A senior NHS worker proved that all healthcare staff are still heroes even whilst outside of the hospital when she resuscitated an 18-month-old baby choking to death after swallowing a sweet. Putting her NHS first aid training to use to save the day.

Lisa Lynch is an NHS senior radiographic assistant at Wrexham's Maelor Hospital in North Wales, who ditched her shopping bags last weekend to run to the rescue of an 18-month-old baby. Lynch first noticed something was wrong when a startled mother ran inside the shop out of panic to buy water for her child who remained outside choking. 

With her knowledge and expertise in the NHS, the 46-year-old radiographic professional knew instinctively the water would only make matters worse for the child, so she dropped her shopping and followed the mum to help. 

When Lisa saw the situation she knew she had to act quick as the child's lips were beginning to turn blue, immediately she took over from the boy's father and put her NHS level first aid training into use.

Being a mother of four children herself, the radiographic assistant from Rhosddu said “As soon as I heard his mum saying she needed to give him water, I started to panic because you don’t give anyone anything if they’re choking."

“I abandoned everything and just ran out to help. I took the little boy off his dad and did what I could. He was so small.”

As she had learnt from her healthcare training at Wrexham's Maelor Hospital, she leant the child forward and proceeded to give him five consecutive back blows with the heel of her hand.

Describing the first hit she said “I looked at him and he was still struggling, so I did it again for a second time and still, nothing,”

“As I tried it one more time, on the third slap I felt a cough and something go down in his tummy."

“I stood him up and these big wide eyes just opened and he started wiping his eyes. His mum was on the phone to the ambulance and there were police cars coming towards me - it all happened so quickly."

Grateful for saving his baby, the father repeatedly thanked Ms Lynch.

Even though she has not remained in contact with the parents, she has been informed that the child is now okay, as she continued saying “I’ve had no contact with the parents since because of course the police couldn’t pass my details on so I was so pleased when I heard he was okay."

The whole situation proved the heroic actions of NHS healthcare workers take place both inside and outside of the hospital, inspiring everything including her own daughter. Lynch said “When we got back to the car, my daughter just said, ‘mum, I am so proud of you, you’ve just saved that little boy's life’."

What to do if a child is choking according to the NHS:

  • If you can see the object, try to remove it. Don't poke blindly or repeatedly with your fingers. You could make things worse by pushing the object further in and making it harder to remove.

  • If your child's coughing loudly, encourage them to carry on coughing to bring up what they're choking on and don't leave them.

  • If your child's coughing isn't effective (it's silent or they can't breathe in properly), shout for help immediately and decide whether they're still conscious.

  • If your child's still conscious, but they're either not coughing or their coughing isn't effective, use back blows.

How to perform back blows for babies under 1-years-old according to the NHS:

  • Sit down and lay your baby face down along your thighs, supporting their head with your hand.

  • Give up to 5 sharp back blows with the heel of 1 hand in the middle of the back between the shoulder blades.

How to perform back blows for children over 1-years-old according to the NHS:

  • Lay a small child face down on your lap as you would a baby.

  • If this isn't possible, support your child in a forward-leaning position and give 5 back blows from behind.

Full advice on choking from the NHS is provided here: