Performing the Heimlich Maneuver, on someone who is choking, is fairly easy. There are three simple steps that you need to follow. If each step is followed correctly, you will have no problem saving a choking victim's life. Before you begin, you must recognize that the person is actually choking. If they are coughing or gasping, then air is still able to pass through. Therefore, performing this maneuver could actually do more harm.
Someone who is choking will not be able to speak or breathe. They will be fighting for air to get through. This is when the Heimlich Maneuver should be administered. First, you want to wrap your arms around the choking victim's waist. Do not worry about getting so close to a stranger. You are trying to save this stranger's life! If the victim is unconscious, you have to place them on their back and kneel across their hips.
Positioning a victim that has fallen unconscious is very important. They must always be placed on their back this way you can work on them. Do not worry about the object getting stuck even further down the person's throat. The way the action is performed will not allow the object to get lodged any further. It will be forced up and out.
Next, is the positioning of your hands on the individual. You have to make a fist and place the thumb side of it right under their ribcage against their abdomen. For the unconscious victim, you must put one hand on top of the other and place the heel of your bottom hand right below the rib cage. It is important to follow this next step correctly so you do not harm the person choking. After you have positioned your hands correctly, you must use your weight to press into the victim's upper abdomen with quick upward thrusts. This step applies for a victim that is standing as well as one who is unconscious, lying on the floor.
You must repeat this step until the object is expelled. By following these basic steps, you will have no problem assisting someone who is choking. Not only will you be able to perform this maneuver but you will have the satisfaction of knowing if such a situation arose, you could handle it. There are no words that can describe the feeling you get knowing you have the knowledge and ability to save someone's life.