Northside Health Library
Heimlich maneuver on self
If you are choking on something, you can perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself:
- Make a fist. Place the thumb below your rib cage and above your navel.
- Grasp your fist with your other hand. Press it into the area with a quick upward movement.
You can also lean over a table edge, chair, or railing. Quickly thrust your upper belly area (upper abdomen) against the edge.
If you need to, you should repeat this motion until the object blocking the airway comes out.
See also: Choking first aid
Manno M. Pediatric respiratory emergencies. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 166.
Braithwaite S, Perina D. Dyspnea. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 17.
Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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