what you should always ask someone before performing the heimlich maneuver on them. the heimlich maneuver should be seen as something of a last resort. if the person is still able to cough, speak, or breathe, and choking, they may be capable of dislodging whatever they're choking on themselves. if they can cough, speak, or breath, the offending object is not fully blocking the passage of air.

however, if you ask and they shake their head no, you should be prepared to do the heimlich maneuver and maybe even cpr, while sending someone else to call an ambulance.

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