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If a person is choking on an object lodged in the throat, in many cases he or she will cough hard enough to dislodge the object. In some cases, however, the victim can't dislodge the object and needs first aid. This is done by using the Heimlich maneuver. However, performing the Heimlich maneuver can seriously injure the person. It can cause significant bruises, break ribs, or damage internal organs. Therefore, you should use the Heimlich maneuver only when the victim can't dislodge a foreign object by coughing and when the victim's breathing is completely or nearly completely blocked. If a person can talk or yell, don't use the Heimlich maneuver.