Mali's French coach Alain Giresse thanked Aurier, who has made the headlines recently for all the wrong reasons, for helping a stricken Moussa Doumbia during an African World Cup qualifier in the Ivory Coast last Saturday.
Doumbia "was swallowing his tongue and choking", Giresse told French radio station RMC.
"That's when Serge Aurier, along with one of our players, had the presence of mind to quickly put him (Doumbia) on his side and to use his hand to pull his tongue out as he was dying.
"It was an incredible reaction from Aurier. I spoke to him afterwards and I even thanked him for his cool head."
Aurier had initially caused a social media stir after the game in Bouake, which the Ivory Coast won 3-1, after making a throat slitting gesture following his side's second goal.
The 23-year-old full-back made the headlines for his indiscretions last month when he was sentenced to two months in prison for assaulting a police officer -- although in France such short sentences are automatically commuted.
Last season he was also in trouble with his club after making derogatory comments about his then-PSG coach Laurent Blanc and other team-mates, including current Manchester United star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, on a social media video post.
He was suspended by his club for five weeks but owned up to having committed "a stupid mistake".