Don't Choke.
May 27, 2016 10:01 AM   Subscribe

On Monday, Dr. Heimlich, at 96 years of age, finally used his maneuver to rescue a choking victim.
posted by schmod (49 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
About time he put his money where his mouth is.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:05 AM on May 27, 2016 [20 favorites]


Typically, a staff member would do it. “But,” Gaines said, pausing, “it is Dr. Heimlich.

[I]t made me appreciate how wonderful it has been to be able to save all those lives.

At 96, still saving lives and still a good man.
posted by AugustWest at 10:07 AM on May 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


If I look back at the most memorable things I learned in school, "Stop, drop and roll" and the Heimlich maneuver come quickly to mind.
posted by AugustWest at 10:09 AM on May 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's the second time he's used it, according to a BBC report.
posted by edd at 10:10 AM on May 27, 2016


ah, we finally find out why his name is "Heimlich!" and to think he carried this secret knowledge all through his life
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:10 AM on May 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


About time he put his money where his mouth is.

If you actually put your money where your mouth is, you are far more likely to need the Heimlich maneuver, so he was just being safe this whole time.
posted by briank at 10:12 AM on May 27, 2016 [34 favorites]


It's the second time he's used it, according to a BBC report.

Previous report.
posted by Etrigan at 10:12 AM on May 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


If I look back at the most memorable things I learned in school, "Stop, drop and roll" and the Heimlich maneuver come quickly to mind.

Paraphrasing from a comedian, this led me to assume that being engulfed in flames was far more common occurrence than it actually is.
posted by schmod at 10:14 AM on May 27, 2016 [14 favorites]


Paraphrasing from a comedian, this led me to assume that being engulfed in flames was far more common occurrence than it actually is.

I agree. It was a scare tactic. Another I remember is Smokey the Bear telling me not to start forest fires. I grew up in the close suburbs to NYC. I kept wondering where these mythical forests full of talking bears were that I should not start fires in.
posted by AugustWest at 10:15 AM on May 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


He also saw somebody suffering Lyme disease and lickety split cured them with malaria.
posted by maxsparber at 10:18 AM on May 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


No, I'm not going to let that go, Dr. Heimlich.
posted by maxsparber at 10:19 AM on May 27, 2016 [2 favorites]




What is that dust mote in my eye? *sniffle*
posted by infini at 10:23 AM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


The other thing that struck me about this article was that good ol Mrs. Ris, at the age of 87, was still eating (and choking on) hamburgers. I hope she had some fries and a beer with that.
posted by AugustWest at 10:24 AM on May 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


As the owner of a 1980 copy of Dr. Heimlich's Home Guide to Emergency Medical Situations (by Henry J. Heimlich, M.D., originator of the Heimlich Maneuver) that I once swiped from my grandmother's house because who wouldn't want a book by Dr. Henry J. Heimlich, I could not be more proud.
posted by zachlipton at 10:24 AM on May 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


From the BBC report:
Vietnam is the only country in the world where he is better known for one of his other medical advances than the Heimlich Manoeuvre - the Heimlich chest drain valve. ...

"The most moving thing in my life was in 1993 when I went to Vietnam with 25 chest surgeons. I was introduced as 'Dr Heimlich, whose name is known by everyone'.

"I thought it was because of the Heimlich Manoeuvre, but then the man introducing me said it was because of the chest drain valve which saved tens of thousands of lives in Vietnam."
posted by mystyk at 10:25 AM on May 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


"Well, it just so happens that I have Dr. Heimlich right here."
posted by octobersurprise at 10:32 AM on May 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


So how did he invent it if he'd never used it? Seems science wasn't his style at the time; Wikipedia:
Henry Heimlich, noted for promulgating abdominal thrusts, claimed that back slaps were proven to cause death by lodging foreign objects into the windpipe. The 1982 Yale study by Day, DuBois, and Crelin that persuaded the American Heart Association to stop recommending back blows for dealing with choking was partially funded by Heimlich's own foundation. According to Roger White MD of the Mayo Clinic and American Heart Association (AHA), "There was never any science here. Heimlich overpowered science all along the way with his slick tactics and intimidation, and everyone, including us at the AHA, caved in." From 1985-2005, abdominal thrusts were the only recommended treatment for choking in the published guidelines of the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross. In 2006, both organizations drastically changed course and "downgraded" the use of the technique.[...]
Heimlich also promoted abdominal thrusts as a treatment for drowning and asthma attacks. The Red Cross now contests his claims that the maneuver could help drowning victims or someone suffering an asthma attack. The Heimlich Institute has stopped advocating on their website for the Heimlich maneuver to be used as a first aid measure for drowning victims. His son, Peter M. Heimlich, alleges that in August 1974 his father published the first of a series of fraudulent case reports in order to promote the use of abdominal thrusts for near-drowning rescue.
posted by effbot at 10:35 AM on May 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


Radiolab did a podcast in 2013 about Heimlich: Don't Choke.
posted by emelenjr at 10:35 AM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


His son, Peter M. Heimlich, alleges that in August 1974 his father published the first of a series of fraudulent case reports in order to promote the use of abdominal thrusts for near-drowning rescue.

Peter Heimlich has spent a long time alleging various things about his father.
posted by Etrigan at 10:38 AM on May 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't know why but this makes me think of Stan Lee cameoing in all new Marvel Productions. Like, "I came up with the awesome years ago, and look at me now! Still awesome! Awwww yeeeeeeea"
posted by avalonian at 10:46 AM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I should have known he was a shill firmly in the pocket of Big Asphyxia.
posted by dr_dank at 10:46 AM on May 27, 2016 [23 favorites]


"Well, it just so happens that I have Dr. Heimlich right here."

Just imagine if the maitre d' had actually gotten there first. "I'm Henry Heimlich, and you know nothing of my work."
posted by babelfish at 10:49 AM on May 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


Came here to drop the same line as above

Typically, a staff member would do it.

“But,” Gaines said, pausing, “it is Dr. Heimlich.

Go ahead, try to read it without a chuckle. Can't can ya?
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:56 AM on May 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


He gets to call it The Me-neuver.
posted by gurple at 10:58 AM on May 27, 2016 [14 favorites]


Heimlich advocated and tested on people in Ethopia a theory that infecting people with Malaria would cure them of AIDS. It didn't work. He's a fraud and I'm sad that he's being celebrated today.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 11:03 AM on May 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


Dr. Heimlich's career is notable for the abundance of creative, simple solutions he has provided for seemingly insurmountable health and medical problems, beginning in 1945. While assigned to a U.S. Naval Group in China during World War II, Dr. Heimlich took a chance with an innovative treatment for victims of trachoma, an incurable bacterial infection of the eyelids that was causing blindness throughout Asia and the Middle East. A mixture of sulfadiazine ground into a base of shaving cream proved effective, and the staff used the treatment successfully on hundreds of people. There's a pretty good Hollywood fictionalized movie about this, "Destination Gobi."
posted by Carol Anne at 11:06 AM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Next someone is going to come in this thread and tell me the woman wasn't choking at all, but Heimlich just up and started squeezing her for no good reason.

Really though, the guy has some crazy history. In conclusion, Dr. Heimlich is a land of contrasts.
posted by zachlipton at 11:09 AM on May 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Really though, the guy has some crazy history. In conclusion, Dr. Heimlich is a land of contrasts.

Infecting thousands of people with malaria during a study with no review board oversight is not really a grey ethical area!!
posted by The Devil Tesla at 11:17 AM on May 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


Welp. Turns out the lighthearted article I posted glosses over the fact that its well-known subject is an honest-to-god monster.

Goddamnit, world.

[Crawls into bed; pulls covers over head.]
posted by schmod at 11:23 AM on May 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


Radiolab did a podcast in 2013 about Heimlich: Don't Choke.

The Dollop also did one.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:27 AM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth you're a good poster schmod and I don't blame you for posting this at all, I'm sorry if I came off too strong!
posted by The Devil Tesla at 11:30 AM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I thought the malaria thing was well enough known that I could just make a little bitty joke about it further up the thread, but the lack of likes I received suggests it was not known, and in no way suggests my joke wasn't especially funny.
posted by maxsparber at 11:33 AM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


What?

Heimlich is the uncle of Anson Williams, who is known for his portrayal as Warren "Potsie" Weber on the 70s hit TV show Happy Days.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:39 AM on May 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


"Infecting thousands of people with malaria during a study with no review board oversight is not really a grey ethical area!!"

That link showed that the study received an IRB approval. Granted that link also showed that a member of that IRB was criminally indicted for his participation.

As far as being a monster? That's a judgment call. Certainly he engaged in behavior that is considered unethical by today's standards, but if the assertions regarding the impact of his work in Vietnam are to be trusted, his work probably saved many more lives than it hurt.
posted by el io at 11:40 AM on May 27, 2016


its well-known subject is an honest-to-god monster.

But if you have malaria and you're choking on a quinine tablet he's the monster you need!
posted by octobersurprise at 11:40 AM on May 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


But if you have malaria and you're choking on a quinine tablet he's the monster you need!

Boy, I don't know what he would do in that scenario.
posted by maxsparber at 11:42 AM on May 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry if I came off too strong!

No offense taken at all.

Normally, I take issue with callouts/derails/that-thing-you-love-is-horrible, but....deliberately infecting thousands of AIDS patients in Africa with Malaria....yeech.
posted by schmod at 11:43 AM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I take back my sentiments comparing Heimlich to Stan Lee. WTF
posted by avalonian at 1:31 PM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


42 years after first describing his life-saving manoeuvre, Dr. Heimlich finally saves a life with it.

Four decades of theory, with no practice... good thing he didn't choke under pressure.

Ba-dum-TSH
posted by Hardcore Poser at 1:52 PM on May 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also it turns out that just his first name is Doctor
posted by beerperson at 2:41 PM on May 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


Eponysterical!
posted by adept256 at 4:09 PM on May 27, 2016


Actually, Heimlich was the name of the monster
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:15 PM on May 27, 2016 [16 favorites]


it's funny because it's true
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:15 PM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


This dog also knows the Heimlich maneuver, kinda, maybe. Actually, I think the dog was just freaking out and got lucky, but cute story nonetheless.
posted by MuChao at 10:06 PM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is a fine opportunity to take the time to remind new parents to take an infant/child CPR class, even if it's a refresher.

I've had to use the Heimlich maneuver on my daughter. Twice.

Just saying.
posted by plinth at 3:45 AM on May 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also, if you happen to spill any Heimlich on your blouse, you'll want to use a bottle of Heimlich Remover.
posted by blueberry at 10:03 PM on May 28, 2016


....and tonight was nearly the third, but she managed to cough up the chunk of kielbasa that was obstructing her windpipe.
posted by plinth at 6:07 PM on May 29, 2016


Jeez, plinth, maybe your daughter needs to be reminded of the amazing benefits of chewing one's food.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:24 PM on May 29, 2016


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