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How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What is the Heimlich maneuver?

The Heimlich maneuver is a procedure used to help a choking person who is conscious but not able to talk. The Heimlich maneuver pushes air out of the person's lungs and makes him or her cough. The force of the cough may then move the object out of the airway.

What are the signs that a person has a blocked airway?

What do I need to do before I start the Heimlich maneuver?

How do I perform the Heimlich maneuver on adults and children older than 1 year?

How do I perform the Heimlich maneuver on a pregnant or overweight person?

Wrap your arms under the person's armpits. Place your fist on the center of the person's breastbone. Be sure your fist is not low on the breastbone, or off to one side on the ribs. Place your other hand over your fist, and do quick pushes. Do this until the object comes out or the person becomes unconscious.

How do I perform the Heimlich maneuver on a choking infant younger than 1 year?

How do I perform the Heimlich maneuver on myself?

If you can breathe and talk, cough hard to try to force the object out. If you cannot talk, cough, or breathe, do the following:

What can I do to help prevent choking?

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Further information

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