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The Heimlich Maneuver

March 16, 1986

Thank you for writing about the choking incident. This was the first report from a "regular person" that I've read indicating that the Heimlich maneuver really works.

Most people don't really think about choking--how easily it can occur and how tragic the consequences can be. I know, because my mother once had a piece of meat lodged in her windpipe while eating at a restaurant. My father, who was a very quiet, unobtrusive individual, stood up and said (in a very loud, panicky voice), "Is there a doctor in the house?" Fortunately, there was. He came over, reached down her throat, pulled the meat out, and saved her life. This all happened long before the Heimlich maneuver was discovered.

Thanks for reminding us all that we can't depend upon restaurant personnel (or patrons) to save a life, and that the Heimlich Maneuver really does work. The same thing could happen at home, when there's no one, not even concerned but incapable bystanders, to assist.

It's so easy to forget the life-saving procedures that we've learned because they're so rarely needed (thank goodness). Your column was a good reminder that we should never forget . . . you just never know when the life of another human being will be in your hands.

ELAINE FLOYD

Rolling Hills

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