First Aid for Choking & Drowning
- Stand behind the victim and wrap your arms firmly around their upper waist.
- Place the thumb side of your fist strongly against the victims abdomen, slightly above the navel and below the ribcage.
- Grasp your fist with your other hand and press your fist into the abdomen with a quick upward thrust. Repeat until food/water are expelled. Do this more gently for asthma attacks.
- If the victim is sitting, stand behind their chair and perform the Maneuver in the same manner.
- After the victim has been revived and saved, have them see a doctor.
Note: If you start to choke when alone and help is not available, then you should make an attempt to self-administer this Maneuver.
First Aid When Victim Has Collapsed & Can't Be Lifted
- Lay the victim on their back.
- Face the victim and kneel astride the victim's hips and thighs.
- With one hand on top of another, place heel of bottom hand on the abdomen slightly above the navel and below the rib cage.
- Press into the victim's abdomen with a quick upward thrust. Repeat as often as necessary.
- Should victim vomit (some do), quickyl tilt head to side and wipe out vomit from mouth to prevent blocking of throat airway. Use airway tube if necessary - keep one in first aid kit.
- After food, water, etc. is out, it's best a doctor check the victim.
Everyone should know the versatile Heimlich Maneuver. It is life-saving.
– Dr. Henry Heimlich
Heimlich Institute, Cincinnati, OH ▪ (513) 559-2391
Heimlich Maneuver Jumpstarts Lungs and Heart
Patricia with Dr. Heimlich
Dr. Henry J. Heimlichm, in 1974, developed this technique for choking victims and it has since saved thousands of lives worldwide. Recent evidence shows that the Heimlich Maneuver restors breathing in more emergency situations than just choking. The Heimlich is also handy for jump-starting the heart in heart attack victims; then continue mouth-to-mouth CPR until emergency help arrives. For more information, visit the Heimlich Institute website.
Heimlich Maneuver Stops Asthma Attacks
A growing body of cases documents the effectiveness of the Heimlich Maneuver in stopping asthma attacks. As Dr. Heimlich explains, "We started receiving reports from people who had suffered severe, almost deadly asthma attacks. The people who were with them didn't have any idea what to do, and off the top of their heads, they used the Heimlich Maneuver. They just tried it," he says, "and immediately, instantly a miracle happened—the asthma attack stopped."
When the diaphragm of an asthma attack victim is pushed up with the Heimlich Maneuver (whether self-applied or not), the lungs become compressed. When this happens, the trapped air is forcibly expelled and the air flow carries away the mucus plugs that started the attack. After the Maneuver, the airway is cleared and the asthma attack ends. Please share this info with asthma sufferers. When the Maneuver is performed on asthmatics, do it gently, because you are expelling mucus and trapped air - not a stuck food object or lungs full of water. There's good evidence this maneuver can also prevent an asthma attack from occurring. Studies show applying the procedure on a regular basis helps keep the lungs free of the mucus that can plug up the airway and bring on an asthma attack. Also avoid mucus forming dairy products.
Links to Other Important Heart Information