Heimlich Manoever

Heimlich Manoever

I live in an assisted living apartment complex. We go to the dining room for the two main meals of the day. We sit at a table for four. My partners are Jim, (in a motorized chair), Dorothy and Olive. Jim is a fast eater, and once dessert is finished, he heads for home.

Two days ago, Jim had left. Dorothy, Olive and I were relaxing over a cup of tea… well, mine was tea, the others drink hot water.dorothy

Dorothy started to cough… you know how you do if something goes down the wrong way?  We were concerned, but it took a few moments before I realized that she was in trouble.

I called for Karen, one of the staff members, and pointed to Dorothy. She headed out to get the nurse… Lillia came over to our table and right away she realized that Dorothy was choking…. and quickly went behind her and applied the Heimlich manoever. The second thrust, was successful and breathing resumed. About this time, the nurse arrived and we were all relieved that she was not needed!

I’m not quite sure how Dorothy was feeling as she choked, but I know it was very scary for me! She said later that I was her “911.” Dorothy is 102, and will be 103 in October!

Would you know what to do in the case of someone choking? We were very fortunate having someone there that knew what to do.

The procedure is as follows: Get behind the victim.  Reach around her waist with your arms.  Make a fist with your “best” hand, ( Left or right?) and place it, thumb side in, in her navel. Grab the fist with your other hand. Jerk your fists up and in… quickly… using strength from both your arms. Repeat until the foreign object is expelled.hands position

I hope you will never have the need for this exercise!

The photo of the hand position that I’ve used is from firstaid.webmd.com.


7 thoughts on “Heimlich Manoever

  1. I appreciate the three of you that have commented above, and thank you for stopping by. Maybe it’s time to put the kettle on again, as I have not been doing it for a while.
    Cream? Sugar?

  2. How frightening that must have been for Dorothy, but I know it’s scary being a bystander, too, and feeling helpless. Your quick thinking was indeed her “911” and got the right person there to help. I hope I never have to apply the Heimlich’s abdominal thrusts, but it’s good to know how.

    • Hi, Carol and Norma….
      This *is* like having tea on such a rainy day. 🙂 I can attest to the worry of choking although thankfully it was on liquid and not solid food. I thought at the time how interesting it would be, forensically, to be discovered in Vancity’s parking lot, drowned. heheheh So a word of advice, do not eat or drink anything if you ever listen to CBC’s Laughing Out Loud (LOL) podcasts. 🙂
      If you promise not to have refrestments nearby, here is a link: http://www.cbc.ca/laughoutloud/index.html

  3. Hi Carol and Heather. Thanks for dropping by… just in time for tea! It was a liquid that Dorothy was choking on. I saw what came out of her mouth, and it didn’t look like a liquid!

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