CINCINNATI (AP) — Who better to give you the Heimlich maneuver than Dr. Heimlich himself?
The doctor is now 96 years old, but he was still able to use the life-saving technique himself on a woman who was choking on food at the senior living center in Cincinnati where he and the 87-year-old woman both live.
Henry Heimlich says he’s demonstrated the maneuver many times since he developed it in the 1970s — but this is the first time he performed it on someone who was choking. He says the experience was “very moving” for him — and that he never thought he’d actually be saving someone’s life with the maneuver.
It involves abdominal thrusts applied to a choking person in an effort to lift the diaphragm and force air from the lungs to dislodge any object.
An employee at the dining room of the senior center tells the Cincinnati Enquirer that Heimlich dislodged a piece of hamburger from the woman’s airway, and that she quickly recovered. In a video interview provided to the newspaper, the woman says she later wrote a note to Heimlich that said, “God put me in this seat next to you.”