The Heimlich Maneuver is used when a person is choking on a piece of food or other foreign object lodged in their windpipe. This emergency technique can be used on adults and children over one year old and you can also perform the Heimlich Maneuver on yourself. Here are the steps to follow:
- Position yourself behind the person (they can be sitting or standing) and reach your arms around their waist
- Now place your fist, thumb side in, above their belly button and grab the fist tightly with your other hand
- Abruptly pull your fist inward and upward – this increases pressure behind the obstruction and helps expel it from the windpipe
- This can also be carried out on a conscious person who is lying on their back, but you will need to straddle them, facing their head. Push your grasped fist upwards and inwards in a similar maneuver to the one mentioned above
This procedure may need to be repeated several times before the obstruction is dislodged and you should always call 999 if the casualty is still choking after several attempts. They may need to have an emergency tracheotomy to remove the offending object.
Injured during the Heimlich Maneuver?
If you’ve been injured after somebody tried to carry out the Heimlich Maneuver on you, you may be able to claim compensation. For example, if you are choking at work and a trained first-aider carries out the procedure incorrectly, they could leave you injured. In cases like these, the first-aider may be deemed to have been negligent. You should always contact a personal injury lawyer for advice, and there is usually a three year time limit in place to make a claim.
Should you claim compensation?
The decision to claim compensation is a personal one, and by discussing your situation with a personal injury lawyer, you can reach a decision which is right for you. Call Accident Advice Helpline and our team of professional personal injury lawyers will offer confidential, no-obligation advice. If you do decide to proceed with a claim after the Heimlich Maneuver has left you injured, we can help. We offer a 100% no win, no fee* service, and come highly recommended by our patron, TV personality and UK consumer champion Esther Rantzen. We’re open 24/7 and it’s free to call our helpline, so get in touch today for advice or to get the ball rolling on your claim.