Christmas Safety: Heimlich Maneuver

christmas safety

Christmas Day is approaching, which means a celebration of turkey, presents and family are almost here. The holiday represents an unparalleled celebration, and as such, you’ll want to do everything you can to make your Christmas event one that family members and friends won’t soon forget.

Although you may dedicate substantial time and resources to prepare Christmas dinner and get your home ready for your celebration, it is important to note that choking remains a hidden danger that can quickly transform a wonderful holiday event into a life-threatening situation. And if you don’t know how to assist a choking victim, the consequences could be fatal.

The National Safety Council (NSC) points out choking represents the fourth-leading cause of unintentional injury or death in the United States. Choking can happen at any location, at any time, and you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure you can assist a choking victim.

Fortunately, the Heimlich maneuver empowers you to use abdominal thrusts to assist a conscious choking victim. The maneuver enables you to assist someone who can’t cough, speak or breathe and provide immediate assistance before advanced medical personnel arrives on the scene. That way, you may be able to prevent the loss of life if you understand how to perform the Heimlich maneuver properly.

How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver

The NSC recommends the following steps to perform the Heimlich maneuver:

  1. Stand behind the choking victim and keep one leg forward between the victim’s legs.
  2. Reach around the victim’s abdomen and locate his or her navel.
  3. Place the thumb side of your fist against the abdomen; the thumb side of your fist should be placed directly above the navel.
  4. Grasp your fist with your other hand and thrust inward and upward to the victim’s abdomen. Perform quick thrusts repeatedly. If you are assisting a pregnant victim and cannot get your arms around her, you should use chest thrusts from behind.
  5. Continue to perform thrusts until the victim expels the object or he or she becomes unresponsive.

The Heimlich maneuver should not be performed on a choking victim who is under the age of 1, according to the NSC. Also, you should call 911 regardless of whether the Heimlich maneuver is successful to ensure a choking victim receives comprehensive medical attention.

Receive Expert Insights into the Heimlich Maneuver and Other Life-Saving Essentials

The Heimlich maneuver represents a life-saving technique, one that you can use to administer quick thrusts to aid a choking victim. It is one of many life-saving techniques that may enable you to deliver critical assistance in emergencies as well.

Now, SureFire CPR of Southern California makes it simple for individuals of all ages to learn the ins and outs of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), basic life support (BLS) and other life-saving essentials. It provides a wide range of courses that feature both hands-on and classroom lessons, ensuring you can find out how to deliver life-saving support in many dangerous scenarios. Plus, SureFire CPR offers training at numerous campus locations throughout Southern California, guaranteeing you can enroll in classes close to home.

Get the emergency training you need to become a life-saver in your community today! To learn more about SureFire CPR and our course offerings, please contact us at (888) 277-3143.

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About the author

I spent 15 years as a firefighter and paramedic...

And too often I would arrive on the scene of someone unconscious, surrounded by a circle of people feeling helpless. Sometimes those people would even have CPR training but lacked the confidence and experience to act.

That’s why I started SureFire CPR. Our classes are practical and engaging – teaching you the crucial skills you need to know what to do and feel empowered to take action.

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Zack Zarrilli, Founder

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