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Safety Tips

The Heimlich Maneuver-Choking

June 5, 2019
man performing the Heimlich Manuever on a woman

Courtesy: The Heimlich Institute

A choking victim can’t speak or breathe and needs your help immediately. Follow these steps to help a choking victim:

  • From behind, wrap your arms around the victim’s waist.
  • Make a fist and place the thumb side of your fist against the victim’s upper abdomen, below the ribcage and above the navel.
  • Grasp your fist with your other hand and press into their upper abdomen with a quick upward thrust. Do not squeeze the ribcage; confine the force of the thrust to your hands. Repeat until object is expelled.

Unconscious Victim or When Rescuer Can’t Reach Around Victim:

  • Place the victim on back.
  • Facing the victim, kneel astride the victim’s hips.
  • With one of your hands on top of the other, place the heel of your bottom hand on the upper abdomen below the rib cage and above the navel.
  • Use your body weight to press into the victim’s upper abdomen with a quick upward thrust. Repeat until object is expelled.
  • If the Victim has not recovered, proceed with CPR. The Victim should see a physician immediately after rescue.

Don’t slap the victim’s back (this could make matters worse).

The Heimlich Maneuver on YOURSELF:

When you choke, you can’t speak or breathe and you need help immediately. Follow these steps to save yourself from choking:

  • Make a fist and place the thumb side of your fist against your upper abdomen, below the ribcage and above the navel.
  • Grasp your fist with your other hand and press into your upper abdomen with a quick upward thrust.
  • Repeat until object is expelled.
  • Alternatively, you can lean over a fixed horizontal object (table edge, chair, railing) and press your upper abdomen against the edge to produce a quick upward thrust. Repeat until object is expelled.

See a physician immediately after rescue.

The Heimlich Maneuver on Infants:

A choking victim can’t speak or breathe and needs your help immediately. Follow these steps to help a choking infant:

  • Lay the child down, face up, on a firm surface and kneel or stand at the victim’s feet, or hold infant on your lap facing away from you.
  • Place the middle and index fingers of both your hands below his rib cage and above his navel.
  • Press into the victim’s upper abdomen with a quick upward thrust; do not squeeze the rib cage. Be very gentle. Repeat until object is expelled.
  • If the Victim has not recovered, proceed with CPR. The Victim should see a physician immediately after rescue.

Don’t slap the victim’s back (this could make matters worse).