On August 22, 26-year-old bodybuilder Dallas McCarver, a former top 10 placer at Mr. Olympia and the boyfriend of WWE star Dana Brooke, died suddenly, reportedly from choking on food, according to TMZ.
Back in March, McCarver collapsed on stage during pre-judging at the Arnold Classic Australia, according to Muscle Insider. On his Instagram page, McCarver explained that he had been battling an upper respiratory infection that progressed into bronchitis, leaving him unable to catch his breath.
The cause of death appears to be choking on food, Brooke told TMZ, but it hasn’t officially been confirmed.
Choking when you’re by yourself can be terrifying—and if you don’t dislodge the obstruction fast, it can be deadly. In fact, if you don’t get the food unstuck within four to six minutes, your brain can suffer serious damage. And irreversible brain death can occur in 10 minutes.
But if you know what to do in case that situation arises, you can save your life. Here’s how to save yourself.
First, see if you can make a sound. If you can, your airway isn’t completely blocked off, so you have a chance of coughing it up. Try to hack as forcefully as possible, like you’re trying to bring up mucus when you’re sick.
If that doesn’t work, try the thrust. Make a fist with one hand and put the thumb side between your belly button and rib cage. Place your other hand on top of that, and push quickly as hard as you can into the area. This exerts pressure on your diaphragm, which will hopefully help push air up your trachea and dislodge the food.
Still nothing? Keep your hands in the same position, but lean over a sturdy chair to provide more force into the push. If five or six thrusts doesn’t work, call 000 immediately, preferably from a landline. Emergency responders can automatically send help, even if you’re not able to speak.
This article originally appeared on Menshealth.com