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Heimlich maneuver on self

Information

If you are choking on something, you can perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself:

  1. Make a fist. Place the thumb below your rib cage and above your navel.
  2. Grasp your fist with your other hand. Press it into the area with a quick upward movement.

You can also lean over a table edge, chair, or railing. Quickly thrust your upper belly area (upper abdomen) against the edge.

If you need to, you should repeat this motion until the object blocking the airway comes out.

See also: Choking first aid

References

Manno M. Pediatric respiratory emergencies. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 166.

Braithwaite S, Perina D. Dyspnea. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 17.


Review Date: 7/16/2011
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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