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Thursday, September 12, 2024

Respect Your Elders: Dr. Henry Heimlich

#RespectYourElders: Dr. Henry Heimlich (born 1920) is an American thoracic surgeon best known for inventing the Heimlich maneuver, a technique that utilizes abdominal thrusts to stop someone from choking.

Heimlich graduated from Weill Cornell Medical College in 1943. He first published his ideas on the Heimlich maneuver in a 1974 article titled “Pop Goes the Cafe Coronary” in Emergency Medicine. From 1976-1984, American Heart Association’s choking-rescue guidelines suggested using a series of backblows, but replaced this method with Heimlich’s abdominal thrust technique in 1984.

Besides the maneuver, Heimlich is also credited with creating other life-saving medical inventions. During World War II, Heimlich invented a treatment for trachoma, an eyelid infection leading to blindness, for victims from the U.S. Naval Group in China. In 1963, he created the Heimlich Chest Drain Valve, or “flutter valve,” which drains air and blood from the chest, allowing a collapsed lung to re-expand.

Almost 42 years after publishing his initial thoughts on the Heimlich maneuver, at age 96, Heimlich himself rescued a fellow resident in his senior living community using his self-titled maneuver. On May 23, 2016, Heimlich rescued the 87-year-old resident after she choked on a piece of meat at their nursing home in Cincinnati, Ohio. Heimlich said in an interview with The New York Times that the experience was a “confirmation of what [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][he] had been doing throughout [his] life.”

Other notable individuals whose lives have been saved by the Heimlich maneuver include Ronald Reagan, Cher and Simon Cowell.

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Watch Dr. Heimlich speak about saving someone with the maneuver he invented here



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