The Heimlich Maneuver

The Heimlich Maneuver

If a person is coughing forcefully, encourage continued coughing to clear the object. A person who can’t cough, speak or breathe, however, needs immediate help. Ask if they are choking and let them know you will use abdominal thrusts, also known as the Heimlich maneuver, to prevent suffocation. The procedure is not recommended for children younger than 1.

• Stand behind the victim with one leg forward between the victim’s legs

• For a child, move down to their level and keep your head to one side

• Reach around the abdomen and locate the navel

• Place the thumb side of your fist against the abdomen just above the navel

• Grasp your fist with your other hand and thrust inward and upward into the victim’s abdomen with quick jerks

• For a responsive pregnant victim, or any victim you cannot get your arms around or for whom abdominal thrusts are not effective, give chest thrusts from behind; avoid squeezing the ribs with your arms

• Continue thrusts until the victim expels the object or becomes unresponsive

• Even after choking stops,  seek medical attention

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