June 1, 2015 is National Heimlich Maneuver Day. According to the American Red Cross, choking causes over 3,000 deaths per year. The Heimlich maneuver (abdominal thrusts) is a three-step process that can help save someone’s life in seconds. This simple process will often dislodge the object or food that is blocking the person’s airway. By doing these abdominal thrusts it provides added pressure in the abdomen and chest enabling the object to be dislodged. Choking is very common and needs a quick response.

Follow these simple steps in order to learn the proper way to administer the Heimlich Maneuver:

  1. Determine if the person is truly choking. Look for the universal choking sign. (step one of the diagram)
  2. Reassure the victim immediately that you are going to help him or her. Try to administer the Heimlich prior to calling for emergency help as every second counts!
  3. Make sure the victim is in a standing position.
  4. Do not perform back blows to a choking victim before proceeding to use the Heimlich maneuver.
  5. Stand behind the victim.
  6. Perform the Heimlich maneuver, also known as abdominal thrusts:
    1. Pull inward and upward, pressing into the victim’s abdomen with quick upward thrust.
    2. Repeat the series of thrusts until the object is dislodged and expelled. The victim will cough out the obstacle obstructing their airway if this maneuver is successful.
    3. Keep in mind with a child to use less force.
    4. If the victim becomes unconscious, stop the thrusts immediately. This can happen if the object is not removed.
  7. Make sure normal breathing has occurred
  8. Immediately call for help if the Heimlich was unsuccessful.

Learn how to perform these simple steps, don’t wait until an emergency occurs.–  You could save someone’s life.

East Northport Medical Care is available to provide the best medical services in Suffolk County. From Primary Care, Urgent Care, Cosmetic Services, Physical Therapy, and Nutrition Services, to get the best treatment available, call (631) 368-9166.