Acute aortic thrombosis following incorrect application of the Heimlich maneuver

Lloyd Mack, Thomas L. Forbes, Kenneth A. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Heimlich maneuver has been widely accepted as a safe and effective method of relieving life-threatening foreign-body upper airway obstruction. When applied incorrectly, however, it may result in direct trauma to the intraabdominal viscera. Only two cases of major aortic complications have been reported. Both have involved thrombosis of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. We report two further instances of aortic thrombotic complications due to the incorrect application of the Heimlich maneuver. The first case resulted in thrombosis of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. In the second case the abdominal thrusts caused dislodgement of thrombus from an atherosclerotic nonaneurysmal aorta, which resulted in thromboembolic occlusion of both lower extremities. In both cases, as with the two previously reported instances, massive reperfusion injury resulted, which eventually proved fatal. When applied incorrectly, the Heimlich maneuver may result in direct trauma to the abdominal aorta and is an unusual cause of acute aortic thrombosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-133
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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