The Heimlich maneuver is a method for relieving airway obstruction due to a foreign body in the upper airway by ejecting the foreign body with sudden increase of airway pressures. This is accomplished with a rescuer standing behind the patient and wrapping his/her arms around the patient's chest under the arms, grasping one fist with the other hand. The thumb side of fist is placed on the epigastrum (the area beneath the patient's sternum). The rescuer presses the patient's epigastrum inward and upward (this is the original Heimlich maneuver). Some believe that chest thrusts with the rescuer's thumb side of fist against the sternum would be more effective. The complications of Heimlich maneuver include fractured ribs and rupture of stomach.
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