The Heimlich maneuver

The Heimlich maneuver

The Heimlich maneuver
Save from suffocation

Heimlich's maneuver (abdominal thrusts) is used to dislodge an object/food stuck in a person's throat that is preventing the person from breathing. It is used for adults or children over 1 year old. If it is an infant, the Mofenson method is preferred).

Heimlich should only be used in cases where the person is suffocating and no sound is coming out of their mouth. The maneuver is totally ineffective if air passes (it is even counterproductive and dangerous in this case). If the person is coughing, it is better to let them cough so that they can eject what is stuck on their own.

In theory, according to the ERC, there are several steps to follow before doing the Heimlich maneuver:

  1. Recognize the situation (the victim is eating then suddenly puts his hands to his throat, keeps his mouth open, makes no sound or speech, makes an effort to breathe, gets agitated, then, if does nothing, turns blue and loses consciousness)
  2. Assess the importance of choking (ask the person)
  3. Encourage the person to cough.
  4. If that fails, give one to five slaps on the back
  5. If this fails, perform one to five abdominal compressions (Heimlich method explained in the next paragraph).
  6. Repeat steps 4 to 5 until the person resumes spontaneous breathing or falls unconscious (in this case, accompany him to the ground to avoid further injury).
  7. In all cases (even if the method is effective), notify the emergency services.

How to perform the Heimlich maneuver (1min45 from the video below)?

The person should be standing or sitting and leaning slightly forward. The method involves compressing the lungs from below. To do this, we stand behind the victim, one foot between the victim's two feet. We place our arms under the victim's armpits, we put one of our closed fists back up in the pit of the stomach, above the navel and under the ribs. We place our other hand over the fist, and we spread the forearms well. Then, we exercise violent pulls towards ourselves and upwards (see video).

If we cannot press on the belly (pregnant woman, obese person ...), then we put ourselves in the same position as for the Heimlich method (behind the victim, back of the victim), but we place hands on the middle of the breastbone and chest compressions are applied.

If the person falls unconscious?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is preferred, which will have, among other things and through chest compressions, an effect similar to the Heimlich method (overpressure to eject the foreign body).

If we're alone?

It is possible to do it yourself (with a chair or a corner of a table for example).

Written by Maxou (09/22/2021)
Views: 30

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