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.
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.
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.