In a person suspected of choking, when should the Heimlich maneuver be performed?
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The Heimlich maneuver is considered a first aid procedure used to treat upper airway obstructions by foreign objects or debris. Dr. Henry Heimlich first developed this maneuver in 1974.
The Heimlich Maneuver should be administered only to a choking victim who cannot maintain an airway. Not being able to speak or make sound indicates an obstructed upper airway.
A person who is coughing, wheezing, or stridorous do not require the Heimlich Maneuver. Coughing is the body's natural way of attempting to clear an obstruction. If the victim is coughing, monitor closely but do not intervene unless the condition deteriorates.
A person may be cyanotic or a bluish tint to their skin if choking. Unless the victim is unable to speak, this sign, in itself, does not warrant use of the Heimlich Maneuver.
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Incarcerated diaphragmatic hernia following Heimlich maneuver., Truong T,Salire K,De Cicco I,Cherian S,Aisenberg G,, Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center), 2018 Jan [PubMed PMID: 29686551]
Heimlich Maneuver-Induced Diaphragmatic Rupture and Hiatal Hernia., Herman A,Maiti A,Cherian SV,Estrada-Y-Martin RM,, The American journal of the medical sciences, 2018 Apr [PubMed PMID: 29661360]