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Heimlich Maneuver / Adbominal Thrust

October 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Who has heard of Dr. Henry Jay Heimlich?  I would say most people would say no even though they are familiar with the term heimlich maneuver.  Well I won’t go into detail about the good doc.  What I will say is, he helped bring about a way of saving lives.  Sit back and enjoy the story.  Think about this story and take action.

Early in the first pregnancy, I was instructed on the heimlich maneuver.  An infant/toddler first aid was posted on the refrigerator, and much of my time was spent reading it over.  The number of times I read the first-aid poster were numerous, and Youth 1 was not even born yet.  I continued to read and practice what was on the poster after Youth 1 was born.  A  few years down the road Youth 2 was born, and the little first-aid poster was continuing to cover a portion of the refrigerator.

One evening, the Educator was out.  I was in the living room reading a book or watching the tely (educational show no doubt).  Youth 1 was occupying a bedroom playing, building or destroying something (some part of my house).  Whatever it was, Youth 1 was happily engaged.  Youth 2 was in the library playing with a match box NASCAR tractor trailer and another type of car.  As any parent can swear to, I knew everything was okay.  I could hear the thumps and bangs of Youth 1.  Youth 2 was also creating noise with the metallic toys.  The noise that would normally annoy people without children or the elderly was there and that told me all was well.

Becoming a parent brought out superpowers that I never knew I had. ( Okay, I’m not telling the whole truth.  I have the ability to find candy stored anywhere in a house.)  In college I slept through a fire alarm and needed to be awakened by my roommates.  Now as a parent, I have never slept a full night and at the slightest sound such as a spider crawling on the ceiling of one of my children’s rooms, I wake up.  There was this ability to recognize when my children were up to no good.  Funny, the Educator developed the same power but only stronger and more acute.  There was a kryptonite with me but not with the Educator.  I’ll leave what the kryptonite is out, thank you.  In general, parents recognize what screams, bangs and pain are.  The more children a parent has, the more in tune the parent is.  Oh, those parents of only one child.  You don’t know what you think you know.

When the house became silent is when I first noticed a problem.  Through all of the ambient noise, there was a dead silence.  My superpowers picked up on this, and I sat up on the couch.  Looking around as if I could see the problem through the walls, I tried to figure out exactly what was wrong.  The noise from Youth 1 was coming in just fine.  Youth 2 had been silent too long when I heard a sound coming from Youth 2’s direction.  This conspicuous noise provided a false relief of Youth 2 just being a child.  With my ears still perked, I began to sit down when Youth 2 entered the room, and the haunting of a lifetime began.

There was fear in the eyes of Youth 2.  This child had come to me to solve a problem, a serious problem.  There are moments in time that reflect milliseconds as minutes.  This was one of those moments.  The need for the universal sign of choking was unnecessary, not that Youth 2 knew it.  Youth 2 was choking and needed rescuing.  The first response from me was not to panic.  This doesn’t alleviate the fear, but it does reduce the panic response this child was close to displaying.  My child watched my expression to gain a sense of whether it was serious or not.  In other words, could I solve the problem.  All of this occurred in less than a few seconds but burned into me as minutes.

To say I leapt from the coach could be an understatement.  I really don’t do not remember my motions for I was concentrating on my son.  The mental training I had done for years was taking control of me.  What I do remember is going behind Youth 2 and getting on my knees.  As automatic as a machine programmed to do a function, I perform the heimlich maneuver flawlessly.  I can remember the orange colored, butterscotch hard candy launching from my child’s mouth to a spot on the floor some six to seven feet away.  I do recall thinking how I hated that flavor of the candy as it was airborne.  I had just save my second child from death and watched with amazement this projectile fly across the room.

Upon having the deadly candy dislodged, Youth 2 began to sob with extreme intensity.  The emotions of this child poured as if the Niagra or Victoria falls were in my living room.  All of the fear and relief escaped freely from this child.  It was then I recognized my hands were shaking uncontrollably.  In some strange way, I was drained of energy.  Youth 1 by now had arrived to see Youth 2 in uncontrollable tears and me trying to console my child.  This is where Youth 2 vomited on the floor and put forth more tears and emotion.  I now had the Niagara and Victoria falls together in my living room.  How do you tell a child that you don’t care about the vomit on the floor?  Incidental vomit was nothing compared to the saving of a life.

Epilogue:

It is nice to have a steam cleaner!  As readers are most concerned about the carpet, I can happily say it was cleaned that evening in a quick manner.  No vomit smell too!

I was regarded as a hero by Youth 1 and Youth 2, though I believe it was and still is my duty as a parent and human to do this.

The Educator and I needed to reevaluate how we stored this candy I do not like.  Youth 2 was famous in the family for lifting a piece of candy before our very eyes as if we had given permission.  Oh, never buy a car from Youth 2 if he becomes a car salesman.

The Educator and I recognized the need to teach our children not only the heimlich maneuver but other first aid techniques.  Hey, we adults will need the first aid more than the children.

Youth 2 would have issues with swallowing foods for a few weeks.  This caused me to wonder if there was a nervousness feeling about eating because of the incident.

The close bond between Youth 2 and me became even closer.

I find discussing this event to be very emotionally traumatic for me.  Every time I think of this incident or talk about it, I need to contact Youth 2.  Though I did not cry then, I am now brought to tears when thinking of this.  The one fact that does not escape me is my knowledge of this method.  As successful as it was, I shall always be haunted by this success.  Had I not taken an interest in learning it…

If you do not think you’ll ever need to know, please be aware that I was put in three situation within a few years where the is method could have and was used.  Please learn this.  I cannot tell you how devastated I would be if my child were to have died in front of my eyes.  Go to the following links and learn:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000047.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/first-aid-choking/FA00025

http://www.deaconess-healthcare.com/Heimlich_Institute/Heimlich_Maneuver/