A Heimlich maneuver is an emergency procedure done on the event of a blockage caused by a foreign object trapped in the victim’s airway.
Things could go very bad in a moment, so knowing how to do the Heimlich maneuver correctly is helpful in emergencies like this. Here’s how.
Heimlich Maneuver for an Adult
If the victim is choking, ask the victim to stand up, and tell them to relax because you know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver.
Stand behind the victim, around half an arm’s length away.
Plant your feet firmly on the ground and put your arms around the the victim’s waist, wrapping it completely, with your head on the victim’s back.
Make a fist with your one hand, with your thumb sticking upwards towards the victim. Place it a little above the victim’s belly button.
Grab the fist with your other hand.
Give the victim’s abdomen a sudden squeeze using the strength of your whole body, thrusting upwards. Give five consecutive squeeze-thrusts.
Remember, the action should be strong enough to get rid of whatever foreign object is blocking the airway. Keep a strong grip on the victim and keep yourself planted firmly on the ground.
Repeat the Heimlich maneuver until the foreign object is blocked or until help arrives.
Heimlich Maneuver for a Child or Infant
If possible, make the child stand up. Skip this step if the child is an infant.
Squat slightly behind the child and from behind, put one hand on top of the pelvis line. This area is in the middle of the abdomen. Put your other hand on top of the first one and give a strong, pulling motion upwards with as much force as you can. The motion should be as if it’s towards the child’s nose, and again, in five quick thrusts.
An alternative to Step 2 is to have the child lie face down across your lap, with your fist just below where the ribs meet the breastbone.
Give the area a solid whack, between the lower shoulder blades using your other hand.
If this still doesn’t work and the child is starting to lose consciousness, lower the child to the floor. Sit or squat at the child’s feet.
Put one hand on the child, with the heel of the hand on the belly button and use a forceful, thrusting motion towards the child’s nose. Repeat five times consecutively.
Check the child’s mouth to see if the foreign object has been dislodged. Remove the foreign object with a crooked finger. If the victim starts vomiting, turn the victim to the side to prevent further choking on the vomit.
Give rescue breathing by pinching the victim’s nose shut and covering the mouth with your own. Breathe in until the chest rises, and let fall. Give another breath and continue until help arrives.
Continue with your abdominal thrusting using the heel of your hand.