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heimlich maneuver


Emergency can strike at any time. Nobody expects to be the only witness to a car crash, or worse. If you are the only person who can help, not having any first aid training could be the difference in a person is living or dying. It is especially important for parents, or you are in charge of multiple people on a day to day basis. Even if you are not, having the ability to save someone’s life one day, is an ability I think most people should have. Without it, you can end up causing more damage than good. You only have to read about the Boston scientific defibrillator lawsuit to see that.

Here is some basic first aid that everybody should know.

Heavy Bleeding

To stop heavy bleeding, the type where their body will not form a clot. To stop them from bleeding out, first, you must put pressure on the wound. If possible, raise the injury above the heart to slow down the bleed rate. If it is a major arterial bleed, they could die within a couple of minutes. It is crucial that you add cloth to the wound and apply pressure, do not let that pressure off until the paramedics turn up.


With nearly 90% of cardiac arrests happening at home, away from a doctor or hospital, it is important to know what to do when one happens.

To begin with, it performs CPR with no training, put your hands over the victim’s heart and push. Push to the rhythm of ‘Nelly the Elephant’ or ‘Staying Alive’ by the Bee Gees.

You need to do this immediately, as it only takes 4 minutes for a cardiac arrest to lead to brain damage, even if you save them.

Heimlich Maneuver

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare, your child has swallowed a small object and its stuck in their throat and they are choking. What do you do?

If this happens, you will have to perform the Heimlich Maneuver. Stand behind them with your hand wrapped around them. Turn one hand into a fist and place it between their belly button and their ribcage. Place your other hand over the top. Then perform a quick upwards thrusting motion, making sure to use a good amount of pressure, repeat until the object is dislodged.


Strokes are one of those things that increase in severity rapidly from the moment they happen, and they can happen at any time. The best thing to do if you spot the signs of someone you love having a stroke is to call for an ambulance immediately and, if possible, give them an aspirin.

Signs to look for with a stroke are dizzy spells, numbness, drooping of one side of the face. If in doubt, ask them to smile, if one part of the mouth doesn’t rise, the likelihood is they are having a stroke.

Hopefully, with these basic first aid tricks, you have the ability to save a life, not that we hope it ever comes up!


Dr. Henry Heimlich, who invented the maneuver used to help victims of choking, has died at the age of 96.

He died at a hospital in Cincinnati on December 17 following complications from a heart attack he suffered on December 12, his family says.

Dr. Henry Heimlich invented the lifesaving technique, which uses abdominal thrusts to clear a person’s airway, in 1974.

In May he used the technique himself to save a woman at his retirement home.

Dr. Henry Heimlich was director of surgery at the Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati when he devised the technique.

Image source Getty Images

Image source Getty Images

In a statement released to the media, Dr. Henry Heimlich’s family said he had been “a hero to many people around the world”.

It said: “From the time Dad began his medical career in New York City, to the time he practiced as a thoracic surgeon in Cincinnati, he was committed to coming up with simple, effective ideas that helped save lives and significantly improved people’s quality of life.”

The anti-choking maneuver was not Dr. Henry Heimlich’s only success. In 1962 he developed the Heimlich Chest Drain Valve which was credited with saving many soldiers’ lives in the Vietnam War and is still used for patients undergoing chest surgery.

Since Heimlich technique was introduced in 1974 it is believed to have saved the lives of more than 100,000 people in the US alone.

They include former President Ronald Reagan, Cher, former New York Mayor Edward Koch, Elizabeth Taylor, Goldie Hawn, Walter Matthau, Carrie Fisher, Jack Lemmon and Marlene Dietrich.

In 2014, Clint Eastwood was credited with saving the life of a golf tournament director in California who was choking on a piece of cheese.