How to Abdominal Thrust
Abdominal thrusts, also known as the Heimlich maneuver, are used to help a choking person dislodge an object from their airway and restore normal breathing. Performing abdominal thrusts can be a life-saving technique, but it should only be done when someone is truly choking and unable to breathe. Here’s how to perform abdominal thrusts on a choking adult:
- Stand behind the person: Position yourself behind the choking person and stay calm to assist them effectively.
- Assess the situation: Determine if the person is truly choking by asking them if they can speak or cough. If the person cannot speak, cough, or breathe, it indicates a complete blockage of the airway.
- Position your hands: Make a fist with one hand and place the thumb side of your fist just above the person’s navel (belly button) and below the ribcage.
- Grasp with the other hand: Wrap your other hand around your fist, forming a solid grip.
- Perform abdominal thrusts: With quick and forceful inward and upward thrusts, use your hands to apply pressure to the abdomen, attempting to force the object out of the airway.
- Repeat if necessary: Continue performing abdominal thrusts until the object is dislodged, the person can breathe or cough effectively, or until emergency medical help arrives.
If the person loses consciousness or becomes unresponsive during the choking episode:
- Lay the person on their back: Carefully lower the person to the ground while supporting their head and neck.
- Call for emergency help: Immediately call emergency medical services or ask someone nearby to do so.
- Start CPR: If you are trained in CPR, begin chest compressions and rescue breaths as appropriate for the situation.
Remember, abdominal thrusts should only be used when someone is choking and unable to breathe. If the person can cough forcefully, encourage them to continue coughing to dislodge the object. Additionally, abdominal thrusts should not be performed on infants or pregnant individuals. For choking infants or children, the technique may vary, and it’s crucial to receive proper training in CPR and first aid to respond effectively to choking emergencies.