Home About AllHealth Website Sitemap Contact Us
All Health 
You are here: Home > Old Content > Old US Med Ref (checked) > Heimlich maneuver


Heimlich maneuver on self

Alternative Names 
Heimlich maneuver

The Heimlich maneuver is an emergency method of removing food or other foreign objects from the airwayto prevent suffocation.

Who is a candidate for the procedure? 
A person who is choking when no other people who can perform the procedure are around can perform aHeimlich maneuver on himself or herself.

How is the procedure performed? 
The Heimlich maneuver can be performed on oneself using several different methods. One method is toplace the thumb side of the fist below the rib cage and above the navel, grasp the fist with the otherhand, and press the fist into the abdomen with an upward thrusting motion, repeating this motion untilthe object is expelled. Another method is to lean over a table edge, chair, or railing and press theupper abdomen against the edge with a quick thrust, repeating this motion until the object is expelled.

What happens right after the procedure? 
  • Most individuals are fine after the object is removed from the airway. Occasionally, however, the objectwill go into one of the lungs. If there is a possibility that the foreign body was not expelled, anindividual should seek medical care.
  • In most instances, the Heimlich maneuver will take care of the problem. However, if the object cannot beremoved completely, immediate medical care should be sought by consulting a healthcare provider,proceeding to the local emergency department, or calling 911.
What are the potential complications after the procedure? 
Complications can include injury to the abdominal wall, ribs or muscles. Rib fracturesoccasionally occur, sometimes causing injury to internal organs.

Author: James Broomfield, MD
Reviewer: William M. Boggs, MD
Last Updated: 02/18/00
Potential conflict of interest information for reviewers available on request

This website and article is not a substitute for independent professional advice. Nothing contained in this website is intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional's advice.  All Health and any associated parties do not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information.


Back Email a Friend View Printable Version Bookmark This Page


eknowhow | The World's Best Websites
    Privacy Policy and Disclaimer