Henry Heimlich, in­ven­tor of life-sav­ing move, dies at 96

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

WASH­ING­TON: Henry Heimlich, the doc­tor who gave his name to a fa­mous tech­nique that saved the lives of count­less chok­ing vic­tims, has died aged 96, news me­dia re­ported Satur­day. Heimlich, a tho­racic sur­geon, died at a nurs­ing home in Cincin­nati, Ohio fol­low­ing a heart at­tack. The “Heimlich ma­neu­ver”, which he in­vented in 1974 af­ter see­ing peo­ple choke - and some die - in restau­rants, is thought to have saved tens of thou­sands of lives.

To per­form it, a per­son stands be­hind the chok­ing vic­tim and ap­plies pres­sure to the lower di­aphragm with his or her hands. Com­press­ing the air in the lungs in this fash­ion can force the for­eign ob­ject out of the tra­chea. The many peo­ple whose lives have thus been saved in­clude for­mer pres­i­dent Ron­ald Rea­gan and the ac­tresses Mar­lene Di­et­rich and El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor.

Heimlich him­self had em­ployed the ma­neu­ver a few months ago to save the life of a fel­low re­tiree at his nurs­ing home, an 87-yearold woman. But he was also the cen­ter of con­tro­versy more than once. Heimlich had ad­vo­cated the use of the ma­neu­ver for other pur­poses - to save drown­ing vic­tims or to help asthma suf­fer­ers - that never gained a fol­low­ing. And in his later years, he had ad­vo­cated ex­pos­ing AIDS vic­tims to malaria, a treat­able dis­ease, to boost their re­sis­tance.

Heimlich also was cred­ited with in­vent­ing a valve that bears his name and is used to pre­vent air from fill­ing the chest cav­ity in trauma cases. Heimlich and Jane Mur­ray, daugh­ter of dance school mag­nate Arthur Mur­ray and a pro­po­nent of al­ter­na­tive med­i­cal meth­ods, were mar­ried from 1951 un­til her death in 2012. They had four chil­dren.

— AP

CINCIN­NATI: In this Feb 5, 2014 file photo, Dr Henry Heimlich holds his mem­oir prior to be­ing in­ter­viewed at his home.

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