How to Perform the Self-Heimlich Maneuver Safely and Effectively

Emergency First Aid Choking

The Heimlich maneuver technique is a lifesaving technique used to dislodge an object that has become stuck in a person’s airway. This procedure is typically performed by someone else, but in the case of a choking emergency, it may be necessary to perform the maneuver on oneself. This article will provide self-Heimlich maneuver instructions for those who may find themselves in this situation.

What is the Heimlich Maneuver?

The Heimlich maneuver is a procedure that involves applying upward pressure to a person’s abdomen in order to dislodge an object that has become stuck in their airway. This technique is commonly performed by someone else, but in some cases, the person may be alone and in need of performing the maneuver on themselves.

Self-Heimlich Maneuver Instructions

How to Perform the Self-Heimlich Maneuver?

  1. Stand facing a solid surface: If possible, stand facing a solid surface such as a wall or the back of a chair. This will provide the necessary support for the maneuver.
  2. Make a fist: Place one hand just above the navel, making a fist with your thumb on the inside of your abdomen.
  3. Apply upward pressure: With your other hand, grip your fist and apply upward pressure with a quick, forceful thrust. Repeat this process until the object is dislodged.
  4. Seek medical attention: If the object does not become dislodged, or if the person loses consciousness, seek immediate medical attention.

Precautions to Keep in Mind

Do not perform the self-Heimlich maneuver on infants or young children.

If you are pregnant, use the edge of a table or chair to apply pressure instead of your fist.

If you are performing the self-Heimlich maneuver on someone else, ensure that they are standing or sitting.

If the object is still not dislodged, seek immediate medical attention.


The self-Heimlich maneuver is a lifesaving technique that should only be used in emergency situations. It is important to remember to seek medical attention immediately if the object does not become dislodged or if the person loses consciousness. By following these self-Heimlich maneuver instructions, you can potentially save your life or the life of someone else in a choking emergency.

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