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Straight, No Chaser: How Can I Save Myself If I'm Choking?

By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 21, 2019


If you’re the type that is cool under pressure, you’re well positioned to think your way out of many dangerous situations. If you’re the type that’s inclined to panic, Stop! The life you save may be your own!
At Straight, No Chaser, we’re big on you knowing when to appropriately engage the healthcare system, knowing when you can contact us for advice and information, and knowing simple tips that can help you prolong your life. Here’s a very important example.
Think it through. If it happened today, how would you react if you choked on something and no one else was around?
Can you perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself?


Here’s what you do.

  • Make a fist. Place the thumb below your ribs and above your navel.
  • Grasp your fist with your other hand. Using a quick, upward motion, press your fist the area.


As noted in the diagram, while perform this maneuver you can also lean over a chair, the edge of a table edge, couch or other object of similar height. In this example, you will quickly thrust your upper abdomen against the edge.
You should repeat this motion until the object blocking the airway comes out or until help arrives.
Feel free to ask your SMA personal healthcare consultant any questions you have on this topic.
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