Choking may occur anytime, even when one is alone, thus it is essential to learn how to perform Heimlich maneuver on self. Heimlich maneuver is an emergency technique that helps prevent suffocation when different objects block the airway. There are two ways to perform Heimlich maneuver on self, which will be explained later. It is the most common technique used to save a choking person.
Choking occurs when a person cannot breathe properly due to a foreign body blocking the airway (windpipe or throat). These foreign bodies can be anything from food to toys. Choking is either classified as partial or complete of the airway. Partial blockage of the airway occurs when the airway is not blocked completely but causes the victim to breathe insufficiently. It may easily lead to a medical emergency. On the other hand, complete blockage of airway occurs when an object completely blocks the airway leading to the inability to breathe. Complete blockage is considered a medical emergency. There is danger of permanent brain damage when the brain does not receive sufficient amount of oxygen in as little as four to six minutes.
Advantages of Knowing How to Perform Heimlich maneuver on self
There are numerous advantages to knowing how to perform Heimlich maneuver on self, which include:
- Safe for both adults and children (however, it is not generally recommended for infants less than one year of age)
- Can be performed if no one is around self
- Prepared for choking emergencies
What One Needs to Perform Heimlich maneuver on self
It is not very difficult to perform Heimlich maneuver on self. One of the two options of performing Heimlich maneuver on self would require an object that is waist high and where an individual can bend over. Some of these common objects include:
- Table edge
How to Perform Heimlich maneuver on self
If it is possible to cough out the foreign object, do so. Forcibly coughing out the object will entail that there is no more need to perform Heimlich maneuver. However, if the self if left gasping for air and there is no one in the immediate area, the object has to be removed from the airway before losing consciousness. There are two options on how to perform Heimlich maneuver on self.
- After finding an object to bend over, thrust the upper belly area quickly against the edge.
- Make a fist and place it on the abdomen, with the thumb below the rib cage, just a few inches above the navel. Use the second hand to hold the fist and press into the area with quick upward movements.
- Repeat these movements until the foreign body is cleared from the airway.
Heimlich maneuver is a lifesaving technique used to save individuals who are choking. To learn how to perform Heimlich maneuver on self and on others, enroll in First Aid Courses and CPR Training.