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How To Do The Heimlich Maneuver

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Heimlich Maneuver

Worldwide,every year over 100,000 people die suffocated due to food or other foreign objects thataccidentally reachinto the trachea. If breathing is notresumed after two – three minutes after the onset of asphyxia, processesof brain destructionbeginand thevictim is on the brink of death.

In the U.S. until 1974, when the Heimlich maneuver was introduced, asphyxiation was the sixth leading cause of accidentaldeath. Due to the fact that the suffocatedvictimscan not speak, the problem is sometimes misinterpreted as an heart attack.

Heimlich Maneuver

Heimlich Maneuver

Combustible materials, solar radiation, electricity, necrotizing substances can burn ourskin, sharp objects can cause swelling oropen injuries. Pieces of food or foreign bodiesinto the trachea can suffocate us. Everywhere around us there are elements which, due to inattention or haste, can affect more or less ourphysical integrity. Knowing some first aidbasic rules can make the difference between life and death in such a situation.

Heimlich maneuver is very easy, requires no special equipment or medical training. The mechanism is very simple: when the respiratoryprocesswas stopped, suddenmobilization of the remainingair in the lungsunblocks theobstructed airway.

Heimlich Maneuver

Heimlich Maneuver

Practical recommendations

  • Savior will be placed behind the person who is choking and will introduce one of his legs between the legs of the victim, sothat hecan easily keepthe personupright.A punch in the stomach above the navel, below the breastbone, with the thumb towards the body.
  • Thesavior will grab firmly the clenched fist with another hand and pushon thestomach suddenly, leaningback and pulling upin the same timewith enough force that the victim’sfeet rise slightly from the ground (not sohard if the victim is a minor) . Strong compression of the diaphragm will cause the lungs to expell the remaining air and theobstacle is easily mobilized. If the object has not emerged from the first attempt, repeat the procedure until successful or until the victim faints.

What To Do If

Asphyxia led to loss of consciousness.

Place the unconscious victimon the ground and immediately call the ambulance. Until the arrival of the ambulance, start CPR, including chest compressions. No more abdominal presses (Hemlich maneuver). Each time the airways are open, check if the object has not reached the mouth or throat, casein wich you canextract it, otherwise continue until the victimregains consciousness or until medical personnel arrives.

Suffocation occurs when you arealone

The victimcan applythe Heimlich maneuveron his ownorhecanlean on the back of a chair, pressing rhythmically, strong and suddenly the diaphragm until the foreign body isout.

Heimlich Maneuver

Heimlich Maneuver

The victim is an infant.

Place the infant faceing down on the forearm, supporting his head with the palm of the same hand, so that it is lower than the chest. Child’s mouth should be free, between the thumb and fingers and the neck not twisted. Apply to your baby’s back between the shoulder blades, four to five strokes with the open palm. If the object has not come out of the airways,theback baby will be placedfaceing up, (always maintaining the head),on the open legs of the rescuer.Apply the three and four fingerjust below the breastboneand hit five times,with short-acting downwards movements, towards the chin. If the foreign the object can be seen in the mouth, itshould be removed immediately. You can do twomouth to mouth breaths. If despite these measures the foreign bodyhas not come out, call the ambulance and continue therespiratory resuscitation.