Airway obstruction will result in death in several minutes if patient can’t be obtained the treatment in time. The methods of relieving airway obstruction are back blows and abdominal thrusts.
1. Back blows. when assisting a conscious infant, support the head and neck
with one hand and place the child in a prone position over your forearm, with the head lower than the trunk and your forearm supported on your thigh. Perform four gentle but forceful interscapular blows with the heel of your free hand. Immediately after applying the blows to the upper back, turn the infant supine with the head lower than the trunk, and perform four thrusts to the lower sternum with two fingers. Repeat the back blows and sterna thrusts until the object is expelled(Fig.5-3).
Fig.5-3 Back blows Fig.5-4 Abdominal thrusts (conscious)
2. Abdominal thrusts (Heimlich maneuver)
1) when assisting a conscious adult, position yourself behind him, clasp your hands over the patient’s abdomen slightly above the umbilicus but below the diaphragm. Use the closed fist of one hand, cover by your other hand; give three or four forceful abrupt thrusts against the person’s abdomen to compress the abdomen in and up forcefully(Fig.5-4,Fig.5-5). Continue to apply the thrusts until the obstruction becomes dislodged. If there is no other people at site, patient can use this method by themselves, if this method is unsuccessful, patient should place upper abdomen against a firm and flat surface, such as chair-back, desk-edge, handrails. And give three or four forceful abrupt thrusts(Fig.5-6).
2) when assisting an unconscious adult, place the patient in a supine position, straddle on patient’s laps and give six to ten subdiaphragmatic abdominal thrusts using the heel of one hand reinforced by the other hand(Fig.5-7).
Fig.5-5 Abdominal thrusts method
Fig.5-6 Abdominal thrusts by oneself
Fig.5-7 Abdominal thrusts (unconscious)