CAUTION! The Heimlich Manoeuvre can be performed only when the person in question is suffocating!!! The Heimlich Manoeuvre helps to dislodge the object or food blocking the airway!
Suffocation is generally caused by goods or objects blocked in the wind pipe. The person is unable to speak, cannot breathe, and the skin is turning bluish.
The Heimlich Manoeuvre for adults and children older than 1 year
Position yourself behind the person who appears to be choking and place your arms around the person’s waist. If the person who appears to be choking is standing, place one leg between the person’s legs to be able to support the person in case of loss of consciousness.
Make a fist and place it just above the navel, thumb side in, under the ribcage.
Grab the fist with your other hand and push it inward and upward at the same time until the object is expelled. Apply less pressure if you perform this manoeuvre on children.
If you are alone and there is no one around to help you, lean over the back of a chair and apply a high-intensity pressure until the object is expelled.
If the person lost consciousness, position the person on the floor, call an ambulance, check for objects in mouth or throat, and begin the first aid procedure (which will be described in a future article). DO NOT PRESS ON THE ABDOMEN!!!
The Heimlich Manoeuvre on infants (younger than 1 year)
Sit down and hold the infant face down on your forearm, so his head is lower than his trunk.
Hold the infant’s head with your hand. Do not cover the infant’s mouth or turn his throat.
Perform 4 back blows between his shoulder blades.
If the airways cannot be cleared, hold the infant’s head, turn it towards your thigh facing upwards with his head toward the floor (downwards). Place 2 or 3 fingers on the lower section of the abdomen and press 5 times inward and upward at the same time.
Look for the object in the infant’s mouth. If the object is visible, it must be removed. Two mouth to mouth resuscitation gestures can be performed.
If back blows and chest thrusts are not successful in expelling the object, you must call the ambulance and commence first-aid procedures.
Continue the back blows, chest thrusts, and mouth to mouth resuscitation until the infant expels the object and he breathes on his own, or until the ambulance arrives.