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Heimlich Maneuver for the first time

Posted

Well, in about four years I have never once had to perform the heimlich maneuver on anyone for any reason.

Tonight, during eating dinner with my grandparents my grandmother had an obstruction. She was coughing at first, then she completely got quiet. I encouraged her to cough for about 10 seconds before I realized that, that just wasn't going to happen and decided that it was time to intervene.

Now I know this is really, REALLY simple first aid and that it's not even that big of a deal at all but WHY can I not get doing this out of my head!? Did I do something wrong? Did I wait to long? Really, I know it's not a big deal but I keep thinking about the moment and just can't get it out of my head (she's perfectly fine, we went back to eating dinner) but for goodness sake I'm a guy and was almost to tears! I just don't know what it was. Perhaps it was the fact that it was my grandmother?

Ugh, who knows. I don't even know what I expect to get out of this post. But thanks for reading!

I'm not understanding? After she got quiet did you do the heimlich maneuver? If so, what's the problem? She is fine. You shouldn't have done the heimlich while she was coughing because that means she was able to get air exchange. You did good, you did it right.

Well, in about four years I have never once had to perform the heimlich maneuver on anyone for any reason.

Tonight, during eating dinner with my grandparents my grandmother had an obstruction. She was coughing at first, then she completely got quiet. I encouraged her to cough for about 10 seconds before I realized that, that just wasn't going to happen and decided that it was time to intervene.

Now I know this is really, REALLY simple first aid and that it's not even that big of a deal at all but WHY can I not get doing this out of my head!? Did I do something wrong? Did I wait to long? Really, I know it's not a big deal but I keep thinking about the moment and just can't get it out of my head (she's perfectly fine, we went back to eating dinner) but for goodness sake I'm a guy and was almost to tears! I just don't know what it was. Perhaps it was the fact that it was my grandmother?

Ugh, who knows. I don't even know what I expect to get out of this post. But thanks for reading!

Wow! I think that the Heimlich Maneuver is really REALLY BIG first aid and you have every right to feel that very overwhelming jolt of adreneline that has hit you. YOU SAVED HER LIFE !

That feeling takes quite a while to get over and you might experience all kinds of powerful emotions associated with it. You DID do everything right and your grandmother is fine now. I guess the best thing that I can say is to believe yourself...you have done an amazing thing. :up:

LovingNurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology, Triage, Tele, Med-Surg.

Hi antidote,

Kudos to you for coming to Grandma's rescue! You were the rescuer on the scene, and it was your loved one, so there was a lot riding on your action. I think it's normal for it to have this impact on you for a while.

I used it once - on my mom. I was visiting my folks and was napping in a different room, when I was awoken by my sister yelling "Mom's choking!" I got up, ran into the room so fast that I couldn't stop where she was... ran right by her!!!

So glad Grandma is okay. :yeah:

I had to do the Heimlich once on my mother. She came out of the kitchen and started whapping me on the shoulder and I was annoyed with her - why on earth was she doing that? I looked up and she wasn't quite making the choking sign but I figured it out within a few seconds and did the Heimlich while ordering my six year old to call 911. He just stood there saying "why?" "Grandma's choking!" "Should I really call?"

So the food popped out and I was upset with myself at not recognizing what was going on and being annoyed with my mother when she was choking, and upset with my son for not obeying me in a crisis, and unnerved by the close call, and proud that I did everything right when I did figure out what was going on, and incredibly thankful that my mother was not alone when it happened...

You did just fine. It really does take a few seconds to process these things and it didn't hurt your grandmother, and it is the most natural thing in the world to be shaking when someone you love is/was in danger.

I had to do abdominal thrusts on my daughter. She was almost 2..but very tiny. Choked on a starlight mint she dug out of my purse while I was grocery shopping and comparing prices. I distinctly remember thinking, as I was checking ounces versus price on some canned goods...than my little one was very quiet. She loved to chatter. I turned to look at her where she was sitting in the grocery cart...and it all seems now like it was slow motion when I recall that part...but she was slumped over. When I got to her and lifted her little head...her lips were already blue. Can you say GUILT???? I pulled her from the cart and threw her over my knee. I did not even check to see if she was breathing. I think I was running on pure instinct. I gave her a couple of back blows, then walked with her still upside down over my knee to the end of the aisle. I remember looking down either end and seeing no one and that aisle seemed to be miles and miles long. I got to the end...gave her a couple of more blows...checked her and still nothing. The silence from her was most frightening. A small crowd had gathered and I yelled for someone to call 911. I don't know how many times I did back blows then checked her...I really don't...but finally the mint flew out and she began vomiting. All over me. She was kind of whimpering and the crowd just stood there. No one offered to help...and worst of all, no one ever called 911. I went back to the cart, grabbed my purse and went to the deli and asked for napkins to try and clean myself up. Never occured to me to try the bathroom. I left my cart sitting there and some how made my way out to the car on legs that felt like jelly for an hour or more. I never could go back to that store. Ever.

So...I do think that it being your Grandma has something to do with your emotional response. My daughter is 13 now and just relating this still makes my stomach a little uneasy.

You did good! :yeah:

canoehead, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

Quidam- what a bunch of #$%^ they didn't even call 911! No one made sure you were OK, or helped you.

I wouldn't be able to go back either.

OP- I did the Heimlich on a coworker and it hit me afterwards how much was on the line. Still gives me the creeps although there is no reason to be upset...the what ifs get to you.

BradleyRN

Specializes in Med Surg, LTC, Home Health. Has 28 years experience.

Nice job guys! That's one of the perks to being a nurse...There's always a health care professional around when you need one. :yeah:

northshore08

Specializes in Emergency, outpatient.

After EMT training in college (way before nursing school--many moons ago) I was napping at home and Mom woke me and sent me over to the neighbor's house...he was lying face down in the yard in cardiac arrest. My first arrest. All the family and neighbors watching as I rolled him over, wiped the dirt and grass out of his mouth, and started CPR. 4 cycles later I looked up to see them watching intently. Then I remembered to tell someone to call 911. :banghead:

I learned a few things that day:

1) When in public, don't count on getting help. My brother took the CPR class with me. For some reason he could/would not help. He stood there with the others. :(

2) I was pretty good at CPR! (Still am when I have to be.):D

3) Adrenaline is not a good replacement for help. And it makes you shaky!

To the OP; :yeah::yeah::yeah::yeah:for your GREAT JOB! Stop second-guessing your actions. Ya Done Good!

My dh and I were having dinner with another couple at a very nice restaurant. I was eating chicken and when I swallowed, it just didn't go down! I wasn't choking...I couldn't breath. Not one iota of air would pass. My husband jumped up to try the HM but nothing was working. Our friend who happens to be a cop then took over..with what seemed like forever. Finally the chicken passed on down. I went to the ER to make sure it hadn't aspirated into my lung. I was fine. But I did have 3 broken ribs from the HM. I am so grateful to our friend who always says it was one of his scariest moments on the police force!!!!!

FYI ..not one person including the restaurant staff called 911 except my husband. People were even laughing. It was a scary, scary thing to have happen.

BlueEyedRN

Specializes in ICU.

No one offered to help...and worst of all, no one ever called 911.

Holy smokes! What a terrifying experience! I'm steamed on your behalf. GRRR..

Close calls of any sort stick in your head and take a little time to get over. I sometimes still get teary when I think of when my daughter was recently shoved off a bunkbed and landed on her head, and she wasn't injured in the slightest! But you always think about what could have happened and that is terrifying. Your grandma is lucky to have you. Thanks for being a hero!

The first time is always scary. Mine was on an AFC resident who had problems with oral holding (she would pack bite after bite after bite into her mouth and cheeks unless we took her plate away and said "Okay, now swallow!"). We had finished lunch about a half hour before; I was doing dishes and the resident walked through the kitchen, and she was gurgling. I turned around and said "what's the matter, 'Judy'?" and she tried to say "Nothing" but only got out "Nuh" then grabbed her throat and looked panicky. I really have no memory of actually DOING abdominal thrusts, but I know I did them, and I yelled to the other staff person "Judy's choking!"; what I do remember is the other staff person saying "it's that peanut butter sandwich!" when pieces came flying out. It didn't occur to me until several hours later that I had saved Judy's life. When that realization hit me, my knees turned to rubber and I had to excuse myself to go cry for a few minutes.

You did exactly the right thing, antidote; if you had reacted 3 seconds sooner it would have had exactly the same outcome, so why beat yourself up?

[People were even laughing. It was a scary, scary thing to have happen.

WHAT??? Unbelievable!:eek:

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