< Full Calendar

01-06-1974

Heimlich manoeuvre instructions first published

Happy birthday to the Heimlich manoeuvre!

Which is not a sentence I write that often! It was on the 1st of June 1974 that Dr. Heimlich’s instructions for rescuing choking victims was first published in the journal Emergency Medicine. After reading about the thousands of people per year who perished by food ‘going down the wrong way’, Dr. Henry J. Heimlich decided to do something about it and immediately started inserting large chunks of meat into beagles and then trying to dislodge them. (We do not condone this).

However, all this dog prodding paid off and he finally realised that an upward thrust of the diaphragm fired the offending food particle out of the body like one of those t-shirt cannons you get at major sporting events. In its time, the manoeuvre has potentially saved the life of Ronald Reagan, New York Mayor Ed Koch, Cher and Elizabeth Taylor. Meanwhile, the world has been waiting in vain for the unveiling of Dr Heimlich’s further manoeuvres, some of which are rumoured to be wicked cycling tricks.