It’s a maneuver we should all learn. Could need it at any time – and the doctor who invented it passed away over the weekend.

Henry Heimlich, inventor of the lifesaving technique known as the Heimlich Maneuver was 96. It’s estimated to have saved 100,000 lives.

Heimlich died at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati after suffering a heart attack early last week, according to his son Phil.

Phil Heimlich said, “My father was a great man who saved many lives. He will be missed not only by his family but by all of humanity.”

Henry invented the Heimlich maneuver back in 1974 while he was serving as the director of surgery at Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati. (The Cincinnati Enquirer)

Here’s an astonishing story: the NY Times reports that more than 40 years after inventing his maneuver, Dr. Heimlich used it himself a few months ago to save an 87-year-old woman choking on food at their senior residence in Cincinnati.

The Heimlich maneuver is a series of five abdominal thrusts designed to dislodge an object blocking the airway.

Even at the age of 92, Heimlich battled the American Red Cross, which recommends that five back slaps should come before abdominal thrusts.

Heimlich maintained that the back slaps could lodge the object further down the airway, leading to death from choking.


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