font size

Definition of Heimlich maneuver

Heimlich maneuver: An emergency treatment for obstruction of the airway in adults. It may be needed when someone chokes on a piece of food that has "gone down the wrong way."

To perform the Heimlich maneuver, stand behind the victim, wrap your arms around their waist, makes a fist with one hand and holds the fist with the thumb side just below the breast bone. Place your other hand over this first and use it to pull sharply into the top of the choking person's stomach and forcefully presses up into the victim's diaphragm to expel the obstruction (most commonly food). Repeat as necessary.

In the early 1970s the American surgeon Henry Heimlich noted that food and other objects that caused choking by blocking the airway from the mouth to the lungs were not expelled by giving sharp blows to the back. In 1974 he devised a new method that he tested on laboratory dogs.The new manual thrust method -- the "Heimlich maneuver" -- is now in standard use. If the Heimlich maneuver is unsuccessful, an emergency tracheostomy may be needed to prevent suffocation.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=13181
Last Editorial Review: 10/30/2013

Drug Medical Dictionary of Terms by Letter

Top RxList Drug News

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations