Heimlich Maneuver

The Heimlich Maneuver for Choking


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

  1. 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.)