Heimlich Maneuver

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Choking because of an obstructed airway is a leading cause of accidental death. If a choking person is not coughing or is unable to speak, thats your cue to perform the Heimlich maneuver immediately. Dr. Edward Hill discusses the Heimlich maneuver in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

The Heimlich maneuver is an emergency procedure for removing a foreign object lodged in the airway that is preventing a person from breathing.

The Heimlich maneuver can be used safely on both adults and children, but most experts do not recommend it for infants less than 1 year old. You can also perform the maneuver on yourself.

For a conscious person who is sitting or standing, position yourself behind the person and reach your arms around his or her waist.

Place your fist, thumb side in, just above the persons navel and grab the fist tightly with your other hand.

Pull your fist abruptly upward and inward to increase airway pressure behind the obstructing object and force it from the windpipe.

If the person is conscious and lying on his or her back, straddle the person facing the head. Push your grasped fist upward and inward in a maneuver similar to the one above.

You may need to repeat the procedure several times before the object is dislodged.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.