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You're at dinner and you start to choke. Who do you want at the table beside you?

Your first choice is Mrs. Doubtfire, obviously.


"Help is on the way, dear!" GIF via "Mrs. Doubtfire."

But if she weren't available, you'd want a doctor. Perhaps the doctor who invented the the Heimlich maneuver?

Well, this best-case scenario (sans beloved '90s film character) happened to one woman in Ohio. And that unbelievable twist of fate probably saved her life.

The man behind the maneuver is Dr. Henry Heimlich, a 96-year-old retired surgeon residing in Ohio.

Before he developed the method in the 1970s, choking was a major cause of death. After reading about thousands of incidents, Heimlich decided to develop a fast-acting way to help.

"I set about researching a better way, thinking perhaps I could make use of air trapped in the chest to propel the object out of the trachea," he told CNN.

After experimenting on anesthetized dogs, Heimlich found that if he pushed just below the ribcage, food lodged in their throats would pop out. His famous maneuver was born.

Heimlich demonstrated the bear-hug, upward-thrusting motion on volunteers across the country. And while some of his career has been controversial, Heimlich's namesake maneuver is taught in basic first aid courses and has saved countless lives.

GIF via BJC St. Charles County/YouTube.

Though the maneuver bears his name, Heimlich had never performed it on someone choking — until this week.

The maître d’ at Deupree House, the senior living facility where Heimlich resides, heard 87-year-old resident Patty Ris choking. Trained in the procedure, he rushed to the woman's aid. When he arrived, he saw Dr. Heimlich already in position.

Heimlich performed his namesake maneuver and a piece of hamburger almost immediately dislodged from Ris' throat. The dinner service resumed without incident.

"I used it, and she recovered quickly,” Heimlich told The Cincinnati Enquirer. “It made me appreciate how wonderful it has been to be able to save all those lives.”


Choking remains a serious concern, especially among infants and the elderly.

The curious nature of infants and toddlers puts them at great risk for choking, as nearly everything they touch ends up in their mouths.

And of the 4,864 people who died from choking in 2013, 57% were over the age of 75. Having trouble swallowing, living alone, and even wearing dentures can increase the risk of a choking injury or death.

That's why it's so important for everyone to know age-appropriate first aid techniques, including the Heimlich maneuver, and be able to perform them on themselves and others.

(The Red Cross offers basic training courses at more than 550 locations and online through simulation courses if you're new to first aid or need a refresher.)


Photo by iStock.

Hopefully, like Dr. Heimlich, most of us will go our whole lives without having to use these methods. But should the unexpected happen, it's best to be prepared.

Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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