It’s probably safe to say many of us have had a moment of panic when we think we might be choking on food. Usually, it turns out OK and we can either cough it up or swallow it on our own, but that’s not always the case.
If you’re in public or eating with other people, you’d hope someone either knows how to help or can call 911 if you really are choking.
For people who eat many of their meals alone, however, the danger of choking can be much greater.
Firefighter Jeff Rehman knows all about safety. Aside from fighting fires, he has also been a paramedic and a BLS (Basic Life Support) and ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) instructor for more than 20 years.
In an effort to save even more lives, he posted a video to YouTube that shows what to do if you find yourself choking — and alone.
“I have noted over those years that there is really no effective means for someone to rescue themselves should they be choking and nobody is there to help them,” he says in the video.
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The video has earned more than 7 million views. In it, he recommends a basic push-up motion to create suction to hopefully dislodge the obstructive object in your throat.
First, get on your knees in the push-up position, then let go of your arms, essentially letting your stomach and chest smack on the ground.
The air that moves out from this technique should be enough to remove the item blocking your airway.
Rehman warns this won’t work while pregnant and also notes that while nothing is 100 percent effective, “this is certainly a lot better than what we’ve been taught so far.”
Interesting to note, the maneuver actually came from Rehman’s boxing days. His coach taught him this strategy to tighten up his abdominal muscles, but he realized that it could serve a better purpose and applied it to his years as a paramedic.
We certainly hope you’ll never need to know this, but there is no such thing as being too prepared.
As always, be sure to use caution if using this or any medical technique.
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If you’re looking for information on how to save someone else from choking, there are also multiple YouTube videos on how to perform the Heimlich maneuver.
Check out Rehman’s instructional video on this technique below: