We’ve all seen that great scene in Mrs Doubtfire, when Robin Williams, aka Mrs. D, wraps her arms
round Piearce Brosnan’s waste and, after a series of bone crunching squeezes, causes him to eject
the prawn onto the table. Well, it worked, so it was clearly effective, but was it really the best
course of action? Nearly, but no cigar! When Brosnan first gets into trouble he’s gasping and
wheezing, so the best thing would be to encourage him to cough, instead of patting him ineffectually
on the back, as Miranda Hillard does.

If he can’t cough, bending him over, is the best bet, and supporting his chest would be better, while delivering
up to five hefty wallops between his shoulder-blades.

If none of these work, THEN we do the Doubtfire thing, by reaching round the casualty’s waist, and placing a
big fist in his abdomen, with the other hand on top, and pulling sharply inward and upward, again up
to five times (not the thirteen that Mrs D did!). If things are no better, go back to back thumps, and
alternate back thumps and abdominal thrusts (five and five) until the obstruction is relieved, or they
lose consciousness. If they do go down, do CPR.

If you’ve done abdominal thrusts*, always make sure they are examined by a medic ASAP, as the
procedure is not without its dangers (that’s why we don’t do them first!)