Heimlich inventor uses technique to save life for first time at 96

Dr. Henry Heimlich, right, developer of the Heimlich Maneuver applies a little too much pressure to Dorothy Allen of Halifax , Mass. during a demonstration December 5, 1985 in Boston. Heimlich was in Boston to honor 53 people who successfully performed the maneuver to save the lives of choking victims. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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.

In this Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 photo, Dr. Henry Heimlich holds his memoirs prior to being interviewed at his home in Cincinnati. Heimlich is known for developing the Heimlich maneuver that has been used to clear obstructions from the windpipes of choking victims around the world for four decades. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
In this Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 photo, Dr. Henry Heimlich holds his memoirs prior to being interviewed at his home in Cincinnati. Heimlich is known for developing the Heimlich maneuver that has been used to clear obstructions from the windpipes of choking victims around the world for four decades. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

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.”

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