HEALTH TIPS

How to save your own life


Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 21, 2013 at 4:35 p.m.

When “Can a Song Save Your Life?” opened at the Toronto Film Festival, producers were hoping a song could save their film. We're hoping you'll give a more positive answer to a slightly different question: Can you save your own life? Emergencies such as choking, poisoning or severe bleeding can happen when you're on your own. So here's our quick rundown of how to make sure you come out of the crisis in good shape.

Choking: If you get something stuck in your throat, dial 911 and leave the phone off the hook. Then make a fist. Place your thumb below your rib cage and above your belly button. Grasp your fist with your other hand. Press the pair into the area with a hard, fast upward motion. Or lean over a table edge, chair or railing. Quickly thrust your upper belly area (right below your ribcage) against the edge. Repeat until you dislodge the stuck object.

Severe bleeding: This is surprising: Do not immediately use a tourniquet unless you're a doc or under a doctor's supervision (that's how Dr. Oz helped a plumber save a woman's life this summer). Use clean cloths or paper towels to press down hard on the wound. If the pressure doesn't stop the bleeding, then apply a tourniquet above the wound, never on a joint.

Poisoning: If you have a poisoning emergency, dial 911. If you think you might have ingested too many meds or dangerous chemicals, call Poison HELP at 800-222-1222. Don't induce vomiting — that could make things worse.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D.. is chief wellness officer and chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.

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