Although he’s demonstrated it hundreds of times over the years, Dr. Henry Heimlich was recently faced with using his maneuver to actually save a life. The now 96-year-old didn’t hesitate to help when a fellow diner at the assisted living facility started choking. He ended up dislodging the foot from 87-year-old Patty Ris’s throat.
Heimlich told the Guardian, “That moment was very important to me. I knew about all the lives my maneuver has saved over the years and I have demonstrated it so many times but here, for the first time, was someone sitting right next to me who was about to die.”
Heimlich invented the maneuver in 1974, at a time when thousands of people each year died from choking. He was the one who pushed for the maneuver to be used by the general public instead of exclusively by health professionals. At the time, this push was frowned upon.
In a basic form, the Heimlich Maneuver can be performed using the following directions. It should only be used on a person who is choking and cannot breathe. If they can breathe, a cough can be enough to dislodge an item from the throat.
Don’t believe everything you read online. Online-only CPR and first aid certification is not a generally accepted practice. There are no nationally recognized training programs in the U.S. that endorse any certification without hands-on practice. See our flyer below to learn how to spot and avoid these scams. You can click on the image to open a new window, or download the PDF here.
It’s likely that you maintain smoke detectors, first aid kits, and fire extinguishers in your business to prepare for emergencies. These are all important tools to keep your employees and customers safe. However, are you prepared for someone to go into sudden cardiac arrest in the workplace? Despite being one of the lead causes of death in the United States, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is not currently standardized by OSHA.
According to the Red Cross, more than 350,000 people each year are killed by SCA. It’s a disaster that can occur to any person, of any age at anytime. Generally, each minute that defibrillation isn’t performed after cardiac arrest can reduce the chance of survival by 7-10%. On average, it can take first responders 8-12 minutes to arrive on scene after a 911 call. See the video below for a real life example of just how vital a quick response can be.
As you probably are already aware, CPR paired with an automated external defibrillator (AED) is best way to restore a heartbeat. Chances of survival are 90% when CPR and AED are administered within two minutes of the event. Additionally, most people with no medical experience can operate an AED. It’s an excellent idea for any business or public place to keep an AED in a communal area for emergencies. It’s important that the AED is easy to see and access.
In addition to having an AED in the building, it’s a great idea to equip your employees with the proper training. For example, we offer a standard course covering first aid, CPR and AED training for employees. This training not only teaches your staff how to react to emergencies, but it also familiarizes them with the AED equipment and where the items are stored. For more information on how to maximize the benefit of your AED device, see this article from EHS Today.