Heimlich Maneuver: Myths and Misconceptions

Well, it happened, Clint Eastwood proved he’s the toughest 83 year old around. During a golf event, Eastwood performed the Heimlich maneuver on the Pebble Beach Pro-Am Golf Director. Steve John stated, “I can’t believe I’m 202 pounds and he threw me up in the air three times.” Eastwood knew how to properly perform the Heimlich and saved Mr. John’s life. However, more often then not, people perform the Heimlich maneuver improperly or perform it when the victim is not actually choking. This helpful video will help you learn how to perform the Heimlich on an adult. Note that this video is for entertainment only and not meant to be a substitute for an accredited CPR course, which covers the Heimlich maneuver.

First, you must assess if the victim is in fact choking. If the victim can make a sound, cough or speak, they are not choking. Encourage the victim to cough the item up. Keep them calm and call 911, if needed.

If the victim cannot make a sound and lets you know they want your help, you can perform the Heimlich maneuver. To do this, wrap your arms around the victim’s abdomen and place the thumb of one hand in the navel of the victim. Roll your thumb into a fist. Wrap your other hand around the victim and deliver quick, forceful blows to the abdomen. Stop if the object comes out or the victim becomes unresponsive.

If the victim becomes unresponsive, call 911 immediately, and begin CPR. In between compressions and breaths, look in the mouth for the object and remove the object if you see it.

To find a CPR course that covers the Heimlich maneuver for adults, children and infants, view our upcoming course schedule.