Tuesday, May 8, 2012
The Heimlich maneuver is used to aid a person choking on a foreign body caught in and obstructing the upper airways. A sudden increase in abdominal pressure is produced as the rescuer’s fists, placed against the victim’s abdomen slightly above the navel and well below the tip of the sternum, are pressed into the abdomen with a quick upward thrust. The increased abdominal pressure forces the diaphragm upward into the thorax, reducing thoracic size and, by Boyle’s Law, increasing alveolar pressure. The forceful expiration produced by the increased alveolar pressure often expels the object caught in the respiratory tract.