Each year, many people die from choking on objects that obstruct their
airways and cause suffocation. But there is a simple technique that can be used
on both adults and children older than one year of age to help expel a trapped
The technique is called the “Heimlich maneuver,” or “abdominal thrusts.”
Abdominal thrusts lift the diaphragm and expel air from the lungs. This causes
the foreign object to be expelled from the airway.
Determine whether you need to perform abdominal thrusts.
A person who is choking may be able to dislodge the object on his or her own.
If the person is not coughing or is unable to speak, or
if he or she signals for help, ask him or her stand up.
Then take the following steps:
yourself behind the person.
your arms around his or her waist.
a fist and place it just above the navel, thumb side in.
the fist with your other hand and push it inward and upward at the same time.
the maneuver until the object is expelled.
the person cannot stand up, straddle the person’s waist, facing the head. Push
your fist inward and upward in the same manner as you would if he or she were
The choking person should also seek medical help to
ensure there is no physical damage to the throat and airways.