Glossary >
Abdominal thrusts

Abdominal thrusts

This is some text inside of a div block.

Abdominal thrust, also known as the Heimlich maneuver, is a lifesaving technique used to help a choking person. It is a first aid procedure to dislodge food or other objects stuck in a person's airway, preventing them from breathing. The abdominal thrusts are done by delivering a sudden and powerful burst of air from the lungs, which can help to clear the obstruction from the airway.

To perform abdominal thrusts, the person delivering the maneuver stands behind the patient and places their hands on the patient's abdomen, just above the navel. The rescuer then makes a fist with one hand and wraps the other hand around it. They then quickly press inward and upward towards the patient's diaphragm. This sudden burst of air from the lungs can help dislodge the object blocking the airway.

The abdominal thrusts should only be performed on a conscious person, as performing it on an unconscious person may cause further damage to their throat or other internal organs. The maneuver should also not be used on young children, pregnant women, or people with abdominal injuries.

It is important to remember that abdominal thrusts should only be used as a last resort after other methods, such as back blows and chest thrusts, have been attempted. If abdominal thrusts are unsuccessful, the patient should be taken to the hospital immediately.

a group training in cpr/bls
CPR AED and First Aid Certification. Get certified Now with the latest AHA guidelines.
Takes less than 20 minutes. learn more


Heimlich Maneuver. (2021). Mayo Clinic. Abdominal thrusts (Heimlich maneuver). (2021). MedlinePlus.