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How to Save Yourself If You're Choking

What if you happen to be the person who chokes on a chicken bone, and there's no one around to help? Don't worry. The Heimlich Maneuver is so versatile, you can even perform it on yourself.

  1. Dial the phone, knock on the wall, honk the horn, or anything to get help.
  2. While you're waiting, lean over the back of a chair.
  3. Push your stomach against the rim of the chair back as hard as you can.

Obstructions and Swallowed Objects

You can do the Heimlich Maneuver on yourself if you must.
You can do the Heimlich
Maneuver on yourself
if you must.

Swallowing small objects is usually not harmful. (Just ask any dog who's been left in the house alone!) Usually, there will be some discomfort as the object passes through the digestive tract, but, eventually, it will be expelled.

In certain circumstances, however, you should call for medical attention immediately. For example, if the swallowed object is sharp and dangerous, such as a pin, a sharp fish bone, a broken chicken bone, or an open safety pin. Likewise, you should seek help if the victim experiences excessive drooling or very severe pain that lasts longer than five minutes.

More on: First Aid


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to First Aid Basics © 1996 by Stephen J. Rosenberg, M.D. and Karla Dougherty. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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