Home > Health & Wellness > Health Library > Choking Rescue Procedure (Heimlich Maneuver)
Choking is usually caused by food or an
object stuck in the windpipe. For tips to avoid choking, see
A person who is
choking cannot talk, cough, or breathe, and may turn gray or blue. The Heimlich
maneuver can help get the food or object out.
WARNING: Do not try the Heimlich maneuver unless you are sure
the person is choking.
If the person can
cough or make sounds, let him or her cough to try to get the object out. If you
are worried about the person's breathing, call 911.
If the person can't
breathe, cough, or make sounds, then:
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Call 911 or other emergency services if the person faints. Then:
If you choke while you are
alone, use your fists to do thrusts on yourself. Or lean over the back of a
chair and press hard to pop out the object.
If the baby can cough or
make sounds, let him or her cough to try to get the object out. If you are
worried about the baby's breathing, call 911.
If a baby can't breathe,
cough, or make sounds, then:
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerDavid Messenger, MD
Current as ofJune 4, 2014
Current as of:
June 4, 2014
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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