How to perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself

Do you live and/or eat alone?

If so, you need to know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself.

The Heimlich maneuver is administered when an individual is choking — the airway obstructed by food or some other object. The person administering the first aid places their arms around the choking person from behind, and pull upwards and inwards on the abdomen below the ribcage. The pressure from this movement can expel the obstruction, allowing the patient to breathe again.

Professor Sir Malcolm Green, Emeritus Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the UK’s Imperial College, said: “People are often embarrassed when they start to choke and move away from their friends to somewhere private, to the toilets or out onto the street, and that can result in their death. We need to make sure they stay where they are and know how to do the maneuver on themselves or over the chair they have just been sitting on.”

Experts have found that the maneuver — a short sharp burst of pressure to the abdomen to clear a blockage in the throat — is just as effective when performed by the person who is choking.

Here’s how to perform a Heimlich maneuver on yourself:

  • Press your abdomen sharply onto the back of a chair, or
  • Deliver a sharp thrust to your abdomen below your ribcage with your hand.

Source: The Telegraph


9 responses to “How to perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself

  1. And, keep this picture handy– whatever you swallowed will surely come up then.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: You Need to Know the Heimlich Maneuver | Lee Duigon

  3. Thank you for this article . . . it’s much better to be prepared . . . and not need the information, than need the information and not have it. It’s for sure not everyone has another person around them 24/7.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow! Thanks! This is a “refresher” that EVERYONE needs to read (know about, pursue further as a skill for their “first aid arsenal.”) It costs NOTHING and is EASY and immediately accessable, without any tools or special equipment, and yet…can save a life in an instant!

    I would not have my first-born today( & by extension, my ONLY grand-baby) if I’d not visited my mom for a weekend when my first-born was aged 2 and some. During the visit, I took her Reader’s Digest to the “john” with me and read an article about the (THEN) NEW Heimlich maneuver. Within months after this….my son climbed atop a kitchen countertop—after climbing out of his crib one night— and accessed a bag of Fritos atop the fridgerator ….& he promply sucked a Frito down into his windpipe. I discovered him somehow (mothers don’t really SLEEP for many years…do they?) and figured it out….tried to pry the hard/cardboard-like piece of frito that was flat over his windpipe with my fingernail….and only forced it down more tightly….and, just as my hand reached for the phone to dial “911” and my child was turning purple….I realized that, if I dialed…I would give up all power and hope to someone else to rescue a baby who was already nearly “gone.” So, I did not dial…and, in desperation, miraculously the Heimlich article came into my mind and I did it–just from reading about it. It took several tries…I even remembered how to do it to a baby…..another miracle, b/c there is a difference…..but it WORKED!!!!! After that, I followed all the articles that told how to do Heimlich to babies, yourself, others….etc…..Dr. Heimlich, IMO is a SAINT for discovering, publishing such and easy solution to a fairly common human problem…..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A refresher course and reminder is well received, thank you.
    I read a while back that you simply get on your knees and do a belly flop onto the floor.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great story, CalGirl, wow!

    And great reminder, Dr. E, as I’d forgotten re the back-of-the-chair for DIY’ers.

    And Glenn, lol on the belly flop (funny visual). I have never heard that one. 🙂 Bust a gut!

    The same or similar maneuver can be used if your ribs ever get out of alignment. Decades ago every time I would breathe in, I would get a sharp stabbing pain in my left lung. Ouch! I had no idea what it was at the time but a workmate recommended a chiropractor, my first time ever visiting one.

    He said, Oh it’s nothing, your ribs are whacked out (well thank goodness I’m not dying of something, lol).

    So the big taller strong chiro has you stand facing forward, him behind, wraps his arms in front of you, clasps his hands together in a double-fist, positions them right above the gut & below the sternum (sp?). Then when you least expect it, he digs his fists inward & upward at the same time in a fast upward thrust (lifting me off the floor), & presto, ribs are re-aligned & no longer stabbing me in the lung.

    I was never so impressed in all my younger life. If I’d gone to a medical doctor, they probably would have radiated me (X-rays) & offered drugs! So all hail chiropractors! especially since it would reoccur once in awhile over the years & chiros could fix it in 5-minutes every time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dr. Heimlich just died recently… a good man, he’d lived a long life. At 96 years of age, he had a massive heart attack in his home December 17, 2016. Thank God he didn’t die choking on something…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Good to know. Sorry to hear about Dr. Heimlich.

    Liked by 1 person

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