Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Choking Rescue Procedure (Heimlich Maneuver)
Choking is usually caused by food or an
object stuck in the windpipe. For tips to avoid choking, see
A person who is
choking cannot talk, cough, or breathe, and may turn gray or blue. The Heimlich
maneuver can help get the food or object out.
WARNING: Do not try the Heimlich maneuver unless you are sure
the person is choking.
If the person can
cough or make sounds, let him or her cough to try to get the object out. If you
are worried about the person's breathing, call 911.
If the person can't
breathe, cough, or make sounds, then:
copyright 2002 Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
Call 911 or other emergency services if the person faints. Then:
If you choke while you are
alone, use your fists to do thrusts on yourself. Or lean over the back of a
chair and press hard to pop out the object.
If the baby can cough or
make sounds, let him or her cough to try to get the object out. If you are
worried about the baby's breathing, call 911.
If a baby can't breathe,
cough, or make sounds, then:
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerDavid Messenger, MD
Current as ofMay 27, 2016
Current as of:
May 27, 2016
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.