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The Heimlich Maneuver - First Aid for Choking

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:49pm
ANNOUNCER: You may know that this is the universal sign for choking. But if you saw someone choking, would you know what to do?

SCOTT CARUTHERS, FIRST AID EXPERT : The Heimlich maneuver will put pressure on the diaphragm muscle, that will cause the lungs to be reduced in volume or capacity. All the air that is forced out of the lungs through the trachea will cause the object to be ejected like a spitball, as it were.

ANNOUNCER: The first step is to stand behind the person at an angle with your foot in between the victim's feet.

SCOTT CARUTHERS, FIRST AID EXPERT : The reason I do this is if she does collapse and fall backward, I'll be able to accept her weight more readily then if I were standing directly behind her.

ANNOUNCER: Use your pointer finger to locate the person's belly button.

SCOTT CARUTHERS, FIRST AID EXPERT : The other hand makes a fist. The flat thumb side I'm showing you now goes directly above that finger. And then we grasp the hand, and the motion is up and in. Up and in. Up and in. The point is to get underneath the ribcage to affect the diaphragm causing the collapse of the lung and the expulsion of the object.

ANNOUNCER: But don't try this maneuver if the victim can speak or cough.

SCOTT CARUTHERS, FIRST AID EXPERT : That's a clear sign that they have an airway and we should remain prepared to give assistance to them should they stop coughing, but do not go patting people on the back or spanking them on the back, do not the Heimlich maneuver, don't do anything. Let them use their own body's natural ability to remove that object.

ANNOUNCER: Experts say the best way to learn these techniques is to take a class in first aid.

SCOTT CARUTHERS, FIRST AID EXPERT : Everyone who believes that knowing how to save the lives of the people that they love should seek training, reoccurring training and to remain sharp performing these skills,

ANNOUNCER: Thanks for joining us on today's Once Daily.

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