Imagine the agonizing pain your body must feel when it’s being deprived of oxygen. It’s no joking matter. The obstruction of the airway passage, even partial, can result in asphyxia and death, which is why choking is the fourth most common cause of unintentional injury-related death.
Children and the elderly are often prone to choking. In 2015, a total of 5,051 people died from choking, of which 2,848 were people more than 74 years old.
So what should you do if you’re choking? If one is lucky, there is someone nearby who can perform the Heimlich maneuver. This first aid procedure requires the rescuer to stand behind the patient and use their hands to thrust pressure on the diaphragm to dislodge the object and expel it.
What if you’re alone? Well, then you need to watch the video below to learn a life-saving technique to rescue yourself.
Jeff Rehman is a Colorado firefighter paramedic. For the last 22 years, he has been a basic life support instructor and CPR instructor as well.
“I’ve noted over those years that there is no real effective means for somebody to rescue themselves should they be choking and nobody is there to help them,” Rehman says in the video. “So we came up with something that actually works pretty well.”
The technique Rehman came up with was inspired from his time as a boxer.
“Now the maneuver you’re about to see came from the years when I was a boxer back in the 80s,” he shared.
“And it was actually something my coach taught me in order to toughen up my abdominal muscles. I figured there’s a better use for it, so I applied it to my years as a paramedic,” Rehman added.
Considering the number of years Rehman has spent teaching people life-saving skills, this technique to save yourself from choking is one to remember, and it’s easy to do too.
The first thing one needs to do is get down on the knees, then place your hands down as if you’re about to do a push-up.
In the video, Rehman has his fists clenched, but one does not need to do it. He mentions that he does it because it’s from his boxing days.
Next, one needs to prepare to extend both arms forward at the same time. The point is to lift both arms upward, somewhat above the head, such that you’ll land on the chest and belly.
When Rehman demonstrates it, one can hear him lose breath for a couple of seconds. The impact onto the floor acts similar to the thrust to diaphragm for the Heimlich maneuver.
This technique is for everyone—children, adults and the elderly. So if you ever find yourself choking, don’t forget to do Rehman’s life-saving move.