First Aid Merit Badge
CPR Choking and Stopped Breathing Bleeding
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Tenderfoot 12A: Demonstrate the Heimlich maneuver and tell when it is used
Second Class 6A: Show what to do for "hurry" cases of: Stopped breathing
Heimlich Maneuver
First Aid merit badge book, page 16-17
The Heimlich Maneuver is used to clear a blockage from the throat of a choking person by applying pressure to their abdomen and popping out the object like a cork from a bottle.

The Heimlich Maneuver must never be used on a person who is only coughing!

To perform the Heimlich Maneuver on a conscious victim, either standing or sitting:

  1. Stand behind the victim.
  2. Put your arms around the victim with your hands over his navel.
  3. Make a fist with one hand and press it against his stomach so your thumb is touching his bellybutton.
  4. Grasp your fist firmly with your other hand.
  5. In one quick motion, push in and up, under the bottom edge of his ribcage.
  6. Repeat until the object is dislodged or the victim loses consciousness.

If the victim cannot stand, is unconscious or is much larger than yourself:

  1. Lay the victim down on his back.
  2. Kneel across his thighs.
  3. Make a fist with one hand and press it against his stomach so your fingers are touching his bellybutton.
  4. Grasp your fist firmly with your other hand.
  5. In one quick motion, push in and up, under the bottom edge of his ribcage.
  6. Repeat until the object is dislodged.

To perform the Heimlich Maneuver on yourself, use the back of a stiff chair, the edge of a table or any other solid corner to press hard on your own stomach.

Stopped Breathing
First Aid merit badge book, page 21
When a person stops breathing, his body immediately begins starving for oxygen. Rescue breathing is a technique that allows you to breathe for the victim to keep him alive.

To perform rescue breathing:

  1. Make sure the victim's airway is clear. If necessary, perform the Heimlich Maneuver to clear any objects from his throat.
  2. Place one hand on his forehead and use your fingers to pinch his nose.
  3. Place the fingers of your other hand under his chin.
  4. Use your two hands in these positions to tilt the victim's head, lift his chin and open his mouth. This will open his airway.
  5. Look, listen and feel for a breath by placing your cheek over the victim's mouth (feel), listening for breath and watching his chest for movement.
  6. If there is no breath, place your mouth over the victim's mouth to get a good seal, then give a complete breath every five seconds for one minute.
  7. Every minute, stop and check for breath by using look-listen-feel. If there is no breath, repeat the rescue breathing.


©2005 Sam Clippinger / samc (at) troop50 (dot) org
Last updated: 12/9/2005