Alone and Choking? Self-Heimlich Can Help

It is a natural response to cough when you choke on something (usually food). However, if coughing is not enough to expel the object from your throat, you must perform a Heimlich maneuver on yourself. Choking can block your airways and make it difficult to breathe. In extreme cases, it can lead to death. In fact, choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional, preventable death.

The Heimlich maneuver involves thrusting the abdomen upwards so the lungs can force enough air to push out the blockage. This first-aid technique is simple to perform on yourself. Learn how to do Heimlich maneuver with only three steps for when you’re alone and choking:

How To Do Heimlich Maneuver on Yourself

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Put your fist above your navel. The thumb of that hand should rest below your rib cage.
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Grab the first fist with your other hand, which you will use to push forcibly inward and upward simultaneously. You can also lean over a railing, table edge or chair backrest. Quickly thrust your upper abdomen against the edge.
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Keep pushing your abdomen until the blockage clears.

The Heimlich maneuver is generally a safe and quick technique to save a life. You don’t need to have any medical training or knowledge to do it. It’s a great technique to expel an object from the throat that won’t get out through coughing alone.


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