Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Doctor Is Out

Remembering the man behind the maneuver:
More than four decades after inventing his maneuver, Dr. Heimlich used it himself on May 23 to save the life of an 87-year-old woman choking on a morsel of meat at Deupree House, their senior residence in Cincinnati. He said it was the first time he had ever used the maneuver in an emergency, although he had made a similar claim in 2003.

Patty Ris, who had by chance sat at Dr. Heimlich’s table in a dining hall, began eating a hamburger. “And the next thing I know, I could not breathe I was choking so hard,” she said later. Recognizing her distress, Dr. Heimlich, 96, did his thing. “A piece of meat with a little bone attached flew out of her mouth,” he recalled.

While best known for his namesake maneuver, Dr. Heimlich developed and held patents on a score of medical innovations and devices, including mechanical aids for chest surgery that were widely used in the Vietnam War, procedures for treating chronic lung disease and methods for helping stroke victims relearn to swallow. He also claimed to have invented a technique for replacing a damaged esophagus, but later acknowledged that a Romanian surgeon had been using it for years.
He came, he saw, he saved. RIP.

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