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February 3, 2019

IT WORKED WHEN I TRIED IT: On this day in 1920, Dr. Henry Heimlich, originator of the abdominal thrust technique called “the Heimlich Maneuver,” was born. This technique has likely saved many thousands from choking to death (though other techniques may work as well or better in particular circumstances).

Thirty some years ago, I had occasion to use it. A good friend of mine at the office was tossing hard candies into the air and catching them in his mouth. (This friend is really smart.  I don’t know what got into him that day.)  One got stuck in his windpipe … really stuck. He couldn’t even making choking noises; it was in there too well. My first instinct was to find somebody quickly who knew what to do. But then I realized, “Holy crap … this needs to done right now.”

It worked like a charm. I can do it. At least that time I did it. You can do it too.