Another pioneer dies – leaving an honourable, global and on-going legacy

On the day of John Glenn’s funeral, another pioneer died.

John Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth, restored American prestige in 1962 when it seemed that the Soviet Union was moving ahead in the space race.

A lesser known pioneer died today, aged 96 years old. However, his name is known to every medical doctor in the world, and by most health service personnel. He is US doctor Henry J.Heimlich, who popularised the manoeuvre used to help victims of choking. Countless numbers of people have been saved from premature and unexpected death by his pioneering technique, co-developed with Dr. Edward A.Patrick, whose name is not as celebrated.

Rather than describing the technique, you may see it in action in this video recorded on a US motor cop’s dashcam (a camera mounted on the dashboard of a car).  This picture shows the traffic police officer doing the manoeuvre on the choking woman, which dislodged the food from her throat.  There is a description of the incident here.

Heimlich used the technique himself in his retirement home in this final year of his life.

Henry Heimlich’s wikipedia entry

Update

14 Jul 2015: another example.

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