Emergency Management of Foreign Body Airway Obstruction

Comparison of Artificial Cough Techniques, Manual Extrication Maneuvers, and Simple Mechanical Devices
  • Archer S. Gordon
  • M. Kathleen Belton
  • Paul F. Ridolpho


The recent studies of Heimlich (1,2) have re-focused attention on manual and mechanical techniques for the management of foreign body obstruction of the airway. The 1974 Standards for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Cardiac Care (ECC) (3) recommend:
  1. 1.

    tilting an unconscious victim’s head backward into maximum extension to relieve obstruction of the throat by the tongue; and

  2. 2.

    delivering firm blows on the victim’s back and sweeping your fingers deeply into his throat to remove foreign bodies. These recommendations for head tilt are well documented (4,5), but there are no controlled, comparative studies on manual maneuvers or mechanical devices for treating obstruction of the airway by food or other foreign bodies.



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    American Heart Association: Statement on First Aid for Foreign Body Obstruction of the Airway (interim recommendations), memorandum ECP 76–503, Dallas, Tex., 1976Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Archer S. Gordon
  • M. Kathleen Belton
  • Paul F. Ridolpho

There are no affiliations available

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