Foreign Body Airway Obstruction can be broken down into 3
categories. These are: Complete airway obstruction, partial
airway obstruction with poor air exchange and partial airway
obstruction with good air exchange.
- Partial Ė Good Air Exchange: Victim can speak Let
victim relieve obstruction on his or her own.
- Partial Ė Poor Air Exchange: Victim canít speak,
very little air moving. Cough is silent and ineffective.
Victim requires assistance.
- Complete Obstruction: Victim canít speak, no air
moving. Victim canít cough. Victim requires
The Heimlich Maneuver relieves the obstruction by taking
residual air from the victimís lungs and forcing it out.
This is similar to taking an empty soda bottle, placing a
cork in the opening and smashing the sides of the bottle.
The force of the air in the bottle will send the cork flying
just like the force of the residual air in a victimís
lungs will send the obstruction soaring.