The Heimlich Maneuver: Step-by-Step Guide to Saving Lives

The Heimlich maneuver, also known as abdominal thrusts, is a life-saving technique used to dislodge an object from a person's airway when they are choking. Knowing how to perform the Heimlich maneuver correctly can make a critical difference in saving someone's life. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive step-by-step guide to performing the Heimlich maneuver, highlighting the importance of proper training. MyCPR NOW offers valuable resources and training programs to equip individuals with the skills needed to perform this life-saving technique.

Step-by-Step Guide to Performing the Heimlich Maneuver:

Step 1: Assess the Situation:
Assess the person's condition to determine if they are truly choking and in need of immediate intervention. Look for signs such as inability to speak or cough, clutching their throat, or showing distress.

Step 2: Obtain Consent:
Before intervening, obtain the person's consent if they are conscious and able to communicate. If the person cannot respond or shows signs of severe distress, assume they are experiencing a complete airway obstruction and proceed with the Heimlich maneuver.

Step 3: Stand Behind the Choking Person:
Position yourself behind the choking person and ensure both of your feet are stable and firmly planted on the ground. Maintain a calm and reassuring demeanor to help the person remain calm as well.

Step 4: Place your Fist:
Make a fist with one hand and position it slightly above the person's navel, in the middle of the abdomen. Ensure that your thumb is against the person's abdomen.

Step 5: Grasp your Fist with the Other Hand:
With your other hand, grasp your fist and hold it firmly in place. Your grip should be secure, but not excessively tight, to exert adequate pressure during the maneuver.

Step 6: Deliver Abdominal Thrusts:
Using quick, upward thrusts, apply pressure into the abdomen with your hands. Each thrust should be a separate and distinct movement, aiming to create a sudden burst of air to dislodge the obstructing object. Perform five abdominal thrusts, directing your pressure inward and upward.

Step 7: Assess for Successful Dislodgment:
After five abdominal thrusts, assess the person's condition. If the object has been dislodged and the person can breathe and cough effectively, encourage them to continue coughing and monitor their condition.

Step 8: Seek Medical Attention (if necessary):
Even if the object has been dislodged, it is important to seek medical attention to ensure that there are no underlying complications or injuries. Encourage the person to receive medical evaluation, especially if they experienced a severe choking episode or are at high risk for aspiration.

MyCPR NOW's Resources for the Heimlich Maneuver:

MyCPR NOW offers valuable resources and training programs to support the learning and application of the Heimlich maneuver. These resources include:

1. Video Demonstrations:
MyCPR NOW provides instructional videos that demonstrate the correct technique for performing the Heimlich maneuver. These videos offer visual guidance on hand placement, abdominal thrusts, and the overall procedure.

2. Interactive Learning Modules:
Their interactive learning modules cover the principles and best practices of the Heimlich maneuver. These modules provide detailed information on recognizing choking emergencies, performing the technique correctly, and understanding potential risks and complications.

3. Expert Guidelines:
MyCPR NOW's resources for the Heimlich maneuver align with recognized guidelines and recommendations. They ensure that learners receive accurate and up-to-date information from reputable sources.


Knowing how to perform the Heimlich maneuver is a vital skill that can save lives during choking emergencies. By following the step-by-step guide outlined above and utilizing the resources provided by MyCPR NOW, you can confidently respond to choking incidents and provide immediate assistance. Remember, proper training and regular practice are crucial to maintaining proficiency in performing the Heimlich maneuver. By choosing MyCPR NOW for your training needs, you can access comprehensive resources and gain the necessary skills to act swiftly and effectively in life-threatening situations.

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