Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

June 1, 2012

With just a few simple steps, you can save a life

TAHLEQUAH — In the time it takes to peruse a dinner menu, a choking diner at the table next to you could die from oxygen deprivation, unless someone can execute a couple of simple moves to remove the blockage.

Today is National Heimlich Maneuver Day, and Cherokee County Health Department Coordinating Nurse Keri Ratliff believes everyone should know how to perform the lifesaving exercise.

“It’s an easy technique to learn, and most CPR classes include it in the instruction,” said Ratliff. “I think everyone, including older children, should know the Heimlich maneuver.”

Last June, a Coweta 10-year-old saved the life of his best friend, who choked on a gummy worm. Both boys’ mothers are registered nurses. The young man who was choking knew to put both hands around his throat – the universal sign for choking – and his friend, recognizing the sign, rushed to perform the Heimlich maneuver.

According to information provided by Ratliff, Henry Heimlich in 1974 first described an emergency technique for expelling foreign material blocking the trachea. Now known as the Heimlich maneuver, the task is simple enough that it can be performed by anyone with the appropriate training.

Tahlequah City Hospital Educational Coordinator and Registered Nurse Kristi Haney said there are several key warning signs when a person is choking.

“First, a person who is actually choking, whose airway is blocked, cannot cough or speak,” said Haney. “They may exhibit the universal choking sign by putting their hands around their throat, or they may have a weak cough and labored breathing that produces a high-pitched noise.”

The theory behind the act is that through compressing the abdomen below the level of the diaphragm with quick thrusts, an “artificial cough” is created. Air is forced out of the lungs to dislodge the obstruction in the trachea and expel the foreign object.

According to the Heimlich Institute, there are four steps to helping a choking victim:

• From behind, wrap your arms around the victim’s waist.

• Make a fist and place the thumb side of your fist against the victim’s upper abdomen, below the ribcage and above the navel.

• Grasp your fist with your other hand and press into their upper abdomen with a quick, upward thrust. Do not squeeze the ribcage; confine the force of the thrust to your hands.

• Repeat until the object is expelled.

The most important aspect to aiding a choking victim is to never slap the person’s back, as it could make matters worse.

“You can do the Heimlich maneuver on anyone over the age of 1, as long as they are conscious,” said Haney. “If they lose consciousness, use regular CPR.”

In many cases, the Heimlich maneuver is applicable to animals, as well.

Former Tahlequah resident Austin Goodman learned the Heimlich maneuver by watching it performed on television.

“I’ve used it on two dogs and one cat,” said Goodman. “All three were saved.”

Eddie Glenn, former Daily Press staffer, said he, too, has performed the maneuver to save a pet.

“I learned [the Heimlich maneuver] in high school,” said Glenn. “We had to take it when we weren’t driving the car during drivers education. I used it on our dog Cleo when she was choking on a piece of dog food. She would collect chunks of dog food in her mouth and transport them to the couch to eat, just like a hamster does. As she got older, she developed problems with her soft palate, and the mouthful of dog food started to be problematic for her. She was always choking on something.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • sr-NSU-Earth-day.jpg NSU students observe Earth Day

    Students and members of the community converged on Northeastern State University’s Second Century Square on Tuesday to spend an afternoon celebrating Earth Day.
    The event featured tables sponsored by campus organizations, prizes and music by Chris Espinoza. NSU’s Earth Day theme was “Gather Here. Go Green,” and was organized by the Committee for Sustainability and the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA).

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-smallholders-courtesy.jpg Rural smallholders host annual show

    More and more, many people are showing growing interest in learning the sources of their food, including meat. As such, interest in farm-to-table living is increasing.
    Saturday, the Rural Smallholders Association held its annual spring show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, promoting the farming of sheep and goats, along with giving the general public a sample of their products.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • pitts-hurley.jpg Wanted man nabbed during traffic stop

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a wanted man this week after a traffic stop near South Muskogee and Willis Road.
    Hurley D. Pitts, 40, was being sought by authorities on a motion to revoke a previous sentence.
    Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder said he stopped a car after it ran off the road a couple of times. A woman was behind the wheel, and Pitts was sitting in the passenger seat.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-Wikafile.jpg Communiversity Band performs Sunday

    Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
    The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
    “Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
    “We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council concerned over reports of land contamination

    Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
    Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
    Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Council tables cell tower permit apps

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
    Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
    Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.

    April 23, 2014

  • SR-WalkaMile1.jpg Walk a Mile 2014

    Men squeezed into feminine footwear Saturday by the hundreds to walk in solidarity with women on the issue of sexual violence – and their clop-clop-clopping echoed down Muskogee Avenue.
    The fourth annual “Walk a Mile In Her Shoes” brought men to Norris Park, accompanied by their enthusiastic female supporters, to walk – and often wobble – in high heels over a mile-long course to raise funds for Help-In-Crisis.
    “It hurts every year,” said John Christie, a Sequoyah High School student participating in his third Walk a Mile. “I get home, sit down, blisters come up and the calves hurt. But it is worth it. It’s for a good cause.”

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • adams-christopher.jpg Michigan man gets 13 years on plea to rape, sodomy of girl

    A 28-year-old Michigan man will spend about 13 years in an Oklahoma state prison after pleading guilty to four counts of first-degree rape and one count of sodomy involving a 13-year-old girl.
    Christopher Dale Adams, of Lake Orion, Mich., received a 13-year prison sentence for each of the five charges, to be followed by seven years suspended. All sentences will run concurrently.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • logan-amy.jpg Police take down pair on pot distribution charge

    Tahlequah police officers arrested a pair Sunday night for allegedly possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
    Tahlequah Officer Cody Warren said police were asked to investigate when 35-year-old Amy N. Logan, of Tahlequah, allegedly took a family member’s car without permission.
    While Warren was speaking with the owners of the vehicle, Logan arrived along with 26-year-old Theoplilus James Mollie, of Tulsa.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • land-lisa.jpg Two nailed with meth, pot hidden in bag of chips

    Two people were arrested early Monday morning when Tahlequah police stopped a vehicle near Basin Avenue and found methamphetamine and marijuana hidden in a bag of chips.
    Tahlequah Officer Cory Keele said he noticed a Nissan heading north on Park Hill Road, and the vehicle later stopped in an intersection.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Stocks