How to perform the Heimlich maneuver – Minneapolis Star Tribune

8 months ago Comments Off on How to perform the Heimlich maneuver – Minneapolis Star Tribune

Henry Heimlich, the doctor who invented the Heimlich maneuver, was in the news again last week when he used his namesake technique to help a choking victim in the senior residence where he lives.

It was a touching story, but also a reminder that this would be a good time to brush up on our knowledge of how to perform this life-saving method. Especially on Memorial Day, when food is aplenty, because choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths, according to the National Safety Council.

We asked Dr. Stephen Dunlop at Hennepin County Medical Center for some tips on how to administer the maneuver:

β€’ First, assess the situation.

β€œOne of the most important things about choking, in general, is that if someone can cough and can make noise, the best thing to do is to encourage them to keep coughing,” he said. β€œIf they look like they’re struggling, if they stop making noise, or if they start to change color, that would be the time to take action.”

β€’ Tell someone to call 911. Time is of essence in choking emergencies.

β€’ Stand directly behind the person, and let them know what you are doing so as not to increase feelings of panic.

β€’ Take your dominant hand and make a fist. Place the thumb side of the fist halfway between the person’s belly button and sturnum. Then take your other hand and grab your own fist.

β€’ Do firm, inward and upward thrusts with your hand to help dislodge the object that is blocking the person’s airway. Dunlop advises to start with moderate pressure, but if that isn’t working, get more aggressive to expel the food.

β€’ Continue to perform the Heimlich maneuver until the situation is resolved or it changes. For example, if all of a sudden they’re moving air and are coughing again, then stop and let them keep coughing. Or if they become unconscious, lay them down and start chest compressions, he said.

While the Heimlich maneuver is effective, it generally should be avoided on young children and pregnant women, Dunlop said. He recommends using back slaps for kids when it is clear that their airway is blocked and chest compressions, akin to CPR, for pregnant women.

Heimlich invented the abdominal thrusting method for aiding choking victims in the 1970s. Although he has demonstrated it many times over the years β€” including famously on β€œThe Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” β€” he never had used it in a real emergency situation until last week.

The 96-year-old surgeon was sitting in the dining room of his Cincinatti senior living complex when he noticed a woman choking. He performed the method on the 87-year-old woman, who coughed up a piece of hamburger.


β€œTo Your Health” offers quick doses of health news several times a week.


How to perform the Heimlich maneuver – Minneapolis Star Tribune

Related Posts

25 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes

3 months ago
Sweet potatoes are so good for your health. Need ideas for cooking them? These recipes should help. Food – Read More

What an RD Really Thinks of the Paleo Diet

3 months ago
If you’re considering trying the Paleo diet—and when so many people claim to experience dramatic weight loss and health improvements on the diet, it’s understandable why you would—watch this... Read More

Increase in UK tooth extractions is disappointing: NHS Chief says – Maine News Online

11 months ago
The soaring rates of extraction of decayed teeth among Brits are quite β€˜disappointing, NHS Chief Dental Officer Sara Hurley said. Fresh stats suggest that cases of tooth decay continue... Read More

Brazil probes three deaths with Zika links, aims for vaccine in a year – Reuters

11 months ago
BRASILIA Recent laboratory analyses identified Zika virus infections in three people who died in Brazil last year, the health ministry said on Thursday, although authorities could not confirm that... Read More
Real Time Web Analytics