Jun 1, 2010

Heimlich Maneuver Day~June 1

Today is Heimlich Maneuver Day.

The Heimlich Maneuver is an emergency procedure, created by Dr. Henry J. Heimlich, used to aid someone who is choking on food or another foreign object. It uses abdominal thrusts to force air from the lungs (creating an artificial cough) to expel the object. It is also referred to as "Abdominal Thrusts".

Choking
Grabbing the throat with one or more hands is the universal sign for choking. Other danger signs include inability to speak, weak and ineffective coughing, difficulty breathing, high pitched or noisy breathing sounds while inhaling, bluish skin color, and loss of consciousness. Choking is especially common in children under 3 and in the elderly. (brighthub.com)

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Decrease you and your child's chance of choking by learning ways to prevent choking, you may save a life without even knowing it. Here's a great article at kidshealth.org.

The Heimlich Maneuver Procedure
Although I recommend taking a Heimlich Procedure course from a certified instructor, in the meantime, learning the steps here at brighthub.com could be extremely valuable in saving the life of a loved one. (Years ago, I used the Heimlich Maneuver to expel a regular sized marshmallow from the throat of my two year old son who tried to swallow it whole. I had not taken a certified course at the time, but did soon after.)

The Heimlich Maneuver can be performed on anyone over 1 year of age. (check here for what to do on infants). It is important to note that you do it a little differently on a pregnant woman, so as not to harm the fetus, and you may need to do it this way on an obese person if you cannot fit your arms around their stomach. You can even save your own life by performing the Heimlich Maneuver on yourself if you are alone (or if no one around you attempts to do it for you, in which case you may decide to change your will). It can also be performed on a choking dog.

The Heimlich Maneuver has been used to save drowning victims and people having an asthma attack.

True Stories
Seventh grade student Allyson Golden started choking on a piece of gum in music class when her friend,  Miriam Starobin saved her life by performing the Heimlich Maneuver which she had learned from watching Spongebob Squarepants.  Read their story here at popeater.com.

As I said earlier, you can use the Heimlich Maneuver on a choking dog, here is a story of a dog that saved it's master's life by doing the Heimlich Maneuver on her. Read it here at breitbart.com.

Since it's introduction in 1974, the Heimlich Maneuver has saved over 50,000 people in the U.S. alone from choking and drowning. It is a procedure that is well worth learning how to do.

Sources:
wikipedia.com
heimlichinstitute.org
brighthub.com

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