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Heimlich Maneuver for Adults and Children Older Than 1 Year

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Heimlich Maneuver for Adults and Children Older Than 1 Year

Overview

A person who is choking cannot talk, cough, or breathe, and may turn gray or blue. The Heimlich maneuver can help get the food or object out. WARNING: Do not try the Heimlich maneuver unless you are sure the person is choking.

If the person can cough or make sounds, let the person cough to try to get the object out. If you are worried about the person's breathing, call 911.

Choking rescue procedure (Heimlich maneuver) with an adult.

If the person can't breathe, cough, or make sounds, then:

  1. Stand or kneel behind the person and wrap your arms around their waist. If the person is standing, place one of your legs between their legs so you can support the person if they faint.
  2. Make a fist with one hand. Place the thumb side of your fist against the person's belly, just above the belly button but well below the breastbone.
  3. Grasp your fist with the other hand. Give a quick upward thrust into the belly. This may cause the object to pop out. You may need to use more force for a large person and less for a child or small adult.
  4. Repeat thrusts until the object pops out or the person faints.

Credits

Current as of: July 11, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

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