How To Perform The Heimlich Maneuver On Yourself

Did you know that choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional death? However, it’s avoidable in most cases with a simple technique you can use to dislodge an object from your or another person’s airway. This technique is known as the Heimlich Maneuver, also known as abdominal thrusts. 

The abdominal thrusts lift your diaphragm upwards and expel air from your lungs, dislodging and expelling the object from your airway. So, if you’re unsure about how to use this method on yourself when you’re alone by yourself, you’ve come to the right place. 

To help you, we’ve listed and discussed how you can apply the Heimlich Maneuver and how it can help you save yourself and others. Here’s what you need to know:

Call Emergency Services First

We know it can be hard not to freak out when you’re choking and alone. However, we want you to try not to panic. And even if you’re alone, call the emergency services or 911 immediately. Also, you might be tempted to call a relative or family member in that situation. You may only call them after calling the authorities. 

If you’re worried that you won’t be able to speak with the dispatcher, that’s fine. Most EMS dispatchers can trace calls (a phone with an enabled GPS or a landline) and arrange assistance for your immediately. If you’re unable speak, just don’t end the call. They’re trained to recognize and take on emergency calls and will act accordingly. 

The dispatcher will stay on the phone with you and get assistance to reach your address as soon as possible. 

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Perform The Heimlich Maneuver 

The next step is to do abdominal thrusts on yourself to remove the blockage from your airway as soon as possible. Locate a piece of furniture or a chair whose back you can use to lean over and thrust against. A railing can work just as well. But avoid choosing an item with a sharp corner because doing so could cause needless harm. 

Press yourself into the back of the furniture as you lean against it with your torso bending forward. Perform this maneuver at least 5-10 times, just as you would on someone else who is choking. 

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The back of a chair or other piece of furniture can be used to help you do the Heimlich maneuver on yourself. Find the navel on your body, make a fist out of your hand, cover the fist with the other hand, and pull firmly upwards and inwards on the navel. 

However, if you’re overweight or pregnant, you might need to perform chest compressions to dislodge and expel the obstruction. Continue doing the technique until you’ve expelled the stuck object or the emergency professional arrive and takes over with chest compressions or the Heimlich maneuver. 

Even if you were able to remove the impediment on your own, you might still require a complete medical examination. The medical professional will assist and transport you to a medical center for advanced care if you have lost consciousness throughout the efforts.

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Some Tips To Enhance Efficiency 

Performing the Heimlich Maneuver on yourself may seem tricky, but there are some tips and tricks that can help you improve the efficiency of your thrusts and dislodge the object as quickly as possible:

  1. The furniture or chair should be waist-high, and you should be able to easily bend over it without falling over. 
  2. Hold your fist tightly, brace them between the chair, and drive your body against the fist and the object. It’ll help increase force and directly apply pressure on your diaphragm to help dislodge the object. 

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Learning the Heimlich Maneuver and other basic life support measures like CPR, wound treatment, ACLS, and PALS can help you save someone’s life in an emergency. If you’re looking for affordable and comprehensive ACLS, BLS, pals certification online, and CPR first-aid certification and training, CPR, ACLS & BLS Training Institute has got you covered. 

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About The Author

Leslie, M. has been working as a paramedic at a local hospital in Chicago for fifteen years. She also writes for acclaimed websites and magazines to educate her readers about life-threatening conditions and life-saving techniques that can be useful during emergencies. 

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