Airway obstructed by foreign material: the Heimlich maneuver

JACEP. 1976 Sep;5(9):675-7. doi: 10.1016/s0361-1124(76)80099-8.


To investigate the application of a cough-creating thrust for the removal of airway-obstructing foreign material, the thrust was applied to six adult male anesthetized volunteers at the waist, at the low chest level, and at the midchest level, with the subjects in both the horizontal-lateral and the sitting positions. Air volume, peak air flow rate, and airway measurements were made. Both the low chest and midchest thrusts produced significantly better results than did the abdominal thrust. There were no side effects attributable to the thrusts. The ease of application and consistently better level of results indicate that the chest thrust is the technique of choice. The application of the chest thrust should be integrated into the concepts of basic life-support and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Airway Obstruction / therapy*
  • Female
  • First Aid
  • Foreign Bodies*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methods
  • Pressure
  • Pulmonary Ventilation