PSA: You Can Do The Heimlich On Yourself If You Choke And No One's Around. Here's How

This manoeuvre can save lives.

Cover image via MyMed & Mayo Clinic

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We've always watched instances, whether in real life or in movies, where a person chokes on something and needs immediate help

Image via GIPHY

In most of these instances, there's always a person around who saves the victim's life by doing the Heimlich manoeuvre. 

However, what happens if you're home alone and there is no one around during a choking incident? Is it even possible to save ourselves from choking?

In case you didn't know, the usual Heimlich manoeuvre to save a choking person has two methods

Image via Mayo Clinic

According to a guide by Mayo Clinic, there are two ways to do the Heimlich manoeuvre, which are the abdominal thrusts and back blows methods.

For the abdominal thrust method, there are four steps:

  1. Firstly, take your position behind the person and put one foot forward for balance. Then, wrap your arms around the waist and tip the person forward slightly.
  2. Make a fist with one hand and position it slightly above the person's navel.
  3. Grab the fist with the other hand and press hard into the abdomen with a fast, upward thrust, like you're trying to lift them up.
  4. Perform between six to 10 abdominal thrusts, until the blockage is dislodged.
For the back blows method, there are three steps:
  1. Take your position beside and slightly behind the person. Place one arm across the victim's chest for support and bend them over at the waist. Then, deliver five back blows between the shoulder blades.
  2. Then, perform the abdominal thrust method, with five thrusts.
  3. Alternate between the five blows and five thrusts methods, until the blockage is dislodged.

But if you find yourself with no one around to help you, here's how you can do the Heimlich manoeuvre on yourself in three steps

Image via Mayo Clinic

In the same guide by Mayo Clinic, here's how you can save yourself if you're choking and alone:

  1. Place a fist slightly above your navel.
  2. Grab your fist with another hand and bend over a hard surface, like a chair, table, or sofa.
  3. Shove the fist inward and upward with the help of the hard surface.

Whether we're doing the Heimlich manoeuvre on someone else or ourselves, the most important thing to remember is to stay calm

Image via GIPHY

If you're still unclear on how to do the Heimlich manoeuvre on yourself, watch the tutorial video below:

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