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The Heimlich Maneuver—the Life-Saving Chokehold

Jun 1, 2016, 13:00 PM
Dining in his senior living facility in Cincinnati, 96-year-old Dr. Henry Heimlich perfectly executed a—you guessed it—Heimlich maneuver, saving a choking victim’s life.

While enjoying a wonderful dinner, Heimlich noticed Patty Ris, a resident dining next to him, began displaying the tell-tale signs of choking.

Signs of choking may include:Heimlich maneuverInability to speak
Lack of breathing / having difficulty breathing
Inability to cough
Skin turning pale or blue
Loss of consciousness

Heimlich jumped into action with his tried-and-true Heimlich maneuver, which employs an abdominal-thrust technique. Standing directly behind the choking victim, Heimlich wrapped his arms around Ris and placed one fist between her naval and rib cage. Gripping his fist with his other hand, Heimlich performed a quick, upward thrust into the Ris’ abdomen.

Three “Heimlichs” later and the piece of meat that was stuck in Ris’ throat dislodged.  She is confident she would not be alive without the quick actions of Heimlich, telling him, “God put me in this seat next to you, Dr. Heimlich, because I was gone, I couldn’t breathe at all.” At 96 years old, this was the first time Heimlich had to practice what he preaches in an emergency situation.

Learn how to respond when someone is choking and what to do if they lose consciousness by reading more about choking first aid at


-Written by Nick Moorehead, GRMC summer intern