Emergency procedure for dislodging a foreign body from a choking victim's throat, devised by the U.S. surgeon Henry J. Heimlich. It is used only when the airway is totally obstructed, as shown by inability to speak or breathe. The rescuer reaches around the victim from behind, grasps one fist in the other just below the victim's rib cage, and makes several upward thrusts into the victim's belly. This expels the foreign object with air from the victim's own lungs. An unconscious victim is laid faceup and the thrusts are given by a kneeling or squatting rescuer.
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