Easy mistake

By helper - 01/12/2009 06:15 - Costa Rica

Today, while dining at a restaurant I heard a women choking. I immediately ran to her, wrapped my arms around her and started giving her abdominal thrusts. She freed herself and slapped me. Turns out she wasn't choking, she was just laughing. FML
I agree, your life sucks 16 664
You deserved it 34 815

Same thing different taste

Top comments

Former lifeguard here: When you suspect someone is choking, you always identify yourself and ask if they need help first. If they need help, they will point at their throat and nod 'yes'. Grabbing someone from behind without warning may actually cause them to choke. YDI.

If she was really choking, you wouldn't hear anything.


If she was really choking, you wouldn't hear anything.

You can hear choking.... Obviously you never have. And you can't just run at someone and put your arms around them. You have to ask them if they are choking (Which is stupid) and tell them who you are. The OP is a dumbass.

Indeed. And doing those thrusts without being sure the woman can't breathe is dangerous and may just make it worse. You have to encourage them to get it out themselves at first. Abdominal thrusts (I hope you refer to Heimlich) should only be used when the person is really about to choke and die from it

"Abdominal thrust" has actually been the preferred name for over a decade now.

Josher47 0

No, if you can hear anything, the person is not choking. That means there is airflow if any sound can be made. And yes, you have to ask, but only if they are conscious (giggity)

If you can hear them "choking", you're supposed to urge them to cough. If they really are choking, they aren't going to make any noise. This is also why they teach you in first aid/CPR training that you ALWAYS ask if someone is choking and you ALWAYS ask before you touch them! You can hurt someone doing abdominal thrusts, and they're within their rights to sue you if you do...whether they required the help or not.

nonynony 0

Yeah, doing abdominal thrusts if they're not truly choking can do serious damage. It can lodge the object into their throat, causing them to start choking for real. Or you could break their ribs, or hurt their fetus if you don't realize they're pregnant, or any number of things. Pay attention in your first aid classes, people.

Erniesduck123 0

It's not stupid to ask them if they are choking, clearly this whole event could have been avoided if the OP would have asked. Even if the woman WAS choking, a response does not just been a verbal answer, she could have nodded or grasped at her neck which is the universal sign for choking. You cannot hear true choking. You are a dumbass.

you can't hear choking. i choked on a piece of pizza once. i couldn't breathe or cough. and i was home alone. i thought i was going to die, but then i just punched my stomach a bunch and i was fine. so no, you can't hear it.

crayfish08 0

Heimlich is copy righted...abdominal thrusts is a term used by the American Red Cross so they won't have to pay money to use the term. Also, its not stupid to have to ask for consent, your doing an emergency medical procedure, its basic ethics to ask for consent, this entire situation wouldn't have happened if the OP had asked for consent. Also, if your not trained in assisting a choking victim than don't do it, yell that somebody may be choking, in a crowded restaurant somebody undoubtedly is certified and would have been able to handle the situation in a way that minimizes potential harm to the victim and stops you from having the possibility of legal ramifications. Good Samaritan laws protect people in this sort of situation, but without formal training, certification, and consent you could be charged with assault for doing something like this.

terranada 3

you're supposed to check the victim first before performing abdominal thrust dipshit

why so many thumbs down??? you can't make noise if you're choking. if they are making noise that means it's not lodged all the way..

If the person is making sounds, they're not choking, obviously. But OP is still an incredible dumbass if he mistook laughing for choking

As long as the person can cough there shouldn't be a need to help them as it would be best to move away and give them room to breath... but in Op's situation I think It's an honest mistake because the person whose laugh sounded like choking probably laughed hard enough to the point were they had stopped making sound and just had their mouth gaping open, which looks similar to a person showing they cannot breathe

bsaucedo 0

i'd be embarrassed as hell if someone tried to save my life while i was laughing, poor girl .

You dumbass you only do thrusts if they cant breathe.

dangg you didn't know, you were just trying to help...

Former lifeguard here: When you suspect someone is choking, you always identify yourself and ask if they need help first. If they need help, they will point at their throat and nod 'yes'. Grabbing someone from behind without warning may actually cause them to choke. YDI.

YDI next time think before you try and be a hero.

idiot. that manoeuvre is actually illegal to perform here in Australia now.

postaltubealex 0

it's not actually illegal. the first aid groups and researchers strongly recommend that you do not proceed with this particular action.

backslaps between shoulder blades abdominal thrusts should be left for trained professionals, same way tracheotomy is

I have been lied to by Life Saving Victoria. I feel somewhat.. betrayed.

I thought back slaps generally push the object in deeper. Scary how different first aid is from place to place...

crayfish08 0

The American Red Cross suggests a combination of back blows and abdominal thrusts in a situation such as this, where the victim is conscious and standing. Abdominal thrusts are effective but can be dangerous and its suggested that people that aren't trained refrain from attempting them because of the possibility of injury to the victim. In fact, its suggested that unless the victim is unable to make any air movement such as talking, coughing, or crying, that nothing should be done as its better to allow the victim to try and work the object out on their own as some amount of air is still getting through. Btw, Im a respiratory therapist, Ive assisted two choking individuals, and ended up performing an emergency tracheotomy on one of them (I was a paramedic at this time), Ive also intubated several patients to remove blockages in hospitals. It would surprise people the amount of people who choke on food while in weakened conditions in a hospital setting.

You're supposed to ask them if they are choking before you act.

I think this is more a FML for the woman than you. It's like, "Today I was laughing and having a good time at a restaurant when a strange man suddenly grabbed me and started pumping my abdomen. He thought I was choking. FML"

One of the FIRST things they teach you in first aid is to ask them if they're choking, and tell them that you're going to help them. You're lucky you're not facing assault charges.