Health Department Adds Steps To Heimlich Maneuver Poster Where Choking Victim Finishes Food They Coughed Up

Illustration for article titled Health Department Adds Steps To Heimlich Maneuver Poster Where Choking Victim Finishes Food They Coughed Up

WASHINGTON—Acknowledging the update was long overdue, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday it had added new steps to the Heimlich maneuver poster so it would include the part where choking victims finished eating the food they had coughed up. “We’re now formally advising Heimlich-certified individuals to expel the food from the choking person’s windpipe, retrieve it from wherever it lands, and immediately place it back onto a dish for re-consumption,” said HHS secretary Alex Azar, urging first aid providers to simply re-administer the Heimlich in the event a victim chokes on the regurgitated item during their second attempt to swallow it. “After wrapping your arms around the person’s waist and performing five abdominal thrusts, it is imperative you place the bile-soaked chunks back into their mouth and move their jaws up and down to assist them in thorough chewing. Please note that with tougher pieces of gristle or a stale bread heel this whole process may take several tries.” HHS officials went on to announce they had updated the universal sign for choking to include a motion in which one pantomimes eating a hoagie.

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