Alternate Names : Removal of Airway Obstruction, Removal of Choking Object
The Heimlich maneuver is an emergency method of removing food or other foreign objects from the airway to prevent suffocation. It is done by grasping the choking person from behind, placing a fist, thumb side in, just below the person's breastbone (sternum), wrapping the other hand firmly over this fist, and then pulling the fist firmly and abruptly into the top of the stomach.
It is important to keep the fist below the chest bones and above the naval (belly button). The procedure should be repeated until the airway is free from obstruction or until the person who is choking loses consciousness.
For more information on procedures used to aid an unconscious person, consult the following articles: choking for the conscious adult, choking for the unconscious adult, choking for the conscious infant, or choking for the unconscious infant.