The Importance of Knowing the Heimlich Chapa-De Indian Health Auburn Grass Valley | Medical Clinic

Importance of Knowing the Heimlich

The Importance of Knowing the Heimlich

Chapa-De Indian Health Auburn Grass Valley | Medical Clinic

Have you ever witnessed someone at a restaurant choking? Have you ever choked on a piece of food by accident? Hopefully you or the person you saw wasn’t choking for very long. Hopefully your gag reflexes kicked in and that minor moment of panic didn’t turn into a life and death situation. But what if it did? What if you didn’t stop choking? What if the person in the restaurant didn’t stop choking? Would you know what to do?

Chapa-De is always here for you, but there may be times when you are not able to come to one of our health centers for help. You may be in a situation that needs immediate response. One of those moments is when someone chokes. We want to teach you what to do in a scenario like this.

The Heimlich maneuver:

The Heimlich maneuver is a lifesaving first aid technique. It is preformed when someone is choking and unable to breathe. The maneuver consists of a person wrapping their arms around the other, using the technique to thrust a piece of food or foreign object out of their throat.

How do you know if someone is chocking? How do you tell people that you are chocking?

Hands around your throat:

In order to show others that you are chocking, hold your hands around your throat. Make sure to educate your family and friends about this signal. It is important that they know what to do if they are chocking and it is important for them to know what to look for if someone else is chocking.

They didn’t put their hand around their throat:

If someone is chocking, but they don’t know the signal, or they can’t put their hand around their throat, keep an eye out for these signs:

  • Repeated coughing or sounds that make you think the person is trying to clear their throat
  • Someone trying to speak, but cannot
  • Someone frantically pointing to their throat
  • Wide eyes and skin discoloration (pale or blue)
  • Someone with an open mouth pushing their head back and forth
  • The most severe sign is someone passing out from lack of oxygen

How do you do the Heimlich?

  • Step 1: Help the person chocking to stand up
  • Step 2: Stand behind them
  • Step 3: Help them lean slightly forward and use your hand to forcefully give 5 hard pats on their back
  • Step 4: Wrap your arms all the way around their waist
  • Step 5: With one hand create a fist with your thumb pointing in
  • Step 6: With your other hand grab your fist and thrust into their abdomen
  • Step 7: Repeat the above steps until the object has been dislodged and the person can breathe normally

This technique can be modified if you are preforming it on yourself or on someone that is pregnant. Click HERE to read more about those techniques.

Knowing the Heimlich can save lives and people of all ages can and should know how to do it. For more information call our Auburn location at (530) 887-2810 or our Grass Valley location at (530) 477-8545 or visit us online at

The Importance of Knowing the Heimlich

Chapa-De Indian Health Auburn Grass Valley | Medical Clinic

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