National Heimlich Maneuver Day – Each year on June 1 National Heimlich Maneuver Day sheds light on the great need to learn this life-saving move.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to never witness someone choking in front of you, consider yourself lucky. There’s nothing more terrifying than suddenly seeing someone in front of you – a child at a restaurant or a family member at the dinner table is gasping for air and cannot breathe.
Moments like this can create frenzy and panic but when someone knows the Heimlich Maneuver a life can be saved. The importance of being trained in this life-saving maneuver is critical for everyone – but especially for those in workplace settings where choking hazards are greater.
Each year on June 1 is set aside as National Heimlich Maneuver Day to shed light on this great need to learn the move.
What is the Heimlich Maneuver?
American thoracic surgeon and medical researcher Henry Judah Heimlich is credited as the inventor of the Heimlich maneuver in the 1970s. It is a first-aid procedure and technique that uses abdominal thrusts to force air into the lungs and hopefully dislodge whatever object is causing someone to choke or that is obstructing their windpipe.
To perform the Heimlich Maneuver, the person administering the technique stands behind with two hands clasped tightly and sudden and strong pressure is applied to the victim’s abdomen right between their navel and rib cage. This is done in a thrusting motion repeatedly and with lots of pressure.
When it comes to infants and young children, the maneuver requires a change of positions to a child lying face down in the rescuer’s lap as forceful blows are given to their back (between the shoulder blades.)
Over the years some adjustments to how the technique is done for children and even dogs have been made, but there is no denying the power it provides for helping someone to dislodge something they are choking on in a moment of need. In some cases it can be a matter of life and death to get their airway unblocked, so knowing how to administer this is critical.
Learn the Heimlich Maneuver
In honor of this day and the upcoming National Safety Month in June, we want to remind you how important it is to sign up for First Aid Training with a verified organization and get into the habit of learning life-saving tactics because you never know when you’re going to need to administer care to someone in distress.
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