What to do if you choke while you’re alone

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What to do When Choking Alone.Over 5,000 people die from choking-related accidents each year.Choking alone is a terrifying thought, but it can happen.Here's how to perform the self-Heimlich maneuver. .Position yourself behind something sturdy like a chair or the edge of a table/counter.Place your abdomen in the same area you would if you were performing the Heimlich on another person...Then quickly thrust your body inward and upward. Repeat

Choking is a pretty scary experience. But it’s even scarier if it happens when you’re alone and there’s no one to administer the Heimlich maneuver.

In a recent Scrubs Magazine article, several nurses shared their experiences of choking while by themselves.

“I was driving home after my hospital shift was over and eating a sandwich too quickly (hadn’t eaten all day),” nurse Michelle wrote. “I started choking so I slowed the car down while hurling myself onto my steering wheel, as hard as I could manage. It worked because that part of the sandwich that I had been choking on flew out of my mouth and splattered on the windshield!! I was fine after that. FYI: I was a CPR instructor.”

With more than 5,000 people dying from choking-related accidents each year, it’s important to know how you can save yourself.

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First. experts recommend calling 911 even if you’re not able to speak. With help on the way, it’s time to perform the solo version of the Heimlich maneuver. This involves two steps:

  • Position yourself behind something sturdy like a chair or the edge of a table/counter.
  • Place your abdomen in the same area you would if you were performing the Heimlich on another person, then quickly thrust your body inward and upward. Repeat as needed.

Choking is naturally terrifying, but try to stay calm while performing the self-Heimlich. The video below helps demonstrate the perfect way to do a self-Heimlich by using a chair.

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Helping to save a life is one thing — being able to also help yourself is another. If you’re interested in learning how to properly do CPR or the Heimlich maneuver, check out a class near you.