At 96, Heimlich Maneuver Inventor Finally Uses Anti-Choking Method, Saving Woman's Life
He didn’t choke under pressure.
Dr. Henry Heimlich, the physician who came up with the anti-choking technique that bears his name, put the practice to use for the first time Monday, saving a woman’s life at a senior living facility in Ohio.
Heimlich, 96, credited with saving countless lives with his contributions to the medical field, sprung into action at the Deupree House in Hyde Park as a woman began showing signs of distress.
Heimlich, a resident of the facility, was sitting next to 87-year-old Patty Ris when she began choking on a piece of hamburger, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Staff members rushing over to help had no choice but to stand down when they realized who was administering the Heimlich maneuver: Dr. Heimlich himself.
The good doctor succeeded at dislodging the food, and it didn’t take long for Ris — who is also a resident at the Deupree House — to recover.
"God put me in this seat next to you," she reportedly wrote Heimlich in a note, according to the Enquirer.
Dr. Heimlich, a thoracic surgeon, published his technique for clearing a obstructed airway in a medical journal in 1974. The practice, which involves standing behind another person and using a fist to administer thrusts to the bottom of their diaphragm, was later dubbed the Heimlich maneuver.
To date, the lives of more than 50,000 Americans have been saved by the Heimlich maneuver, according to the Deaconess Foundation.