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.
<p class="image-caption">"Help is on the way, dear!" GIF via "Mrs. Doubtfire."</p><p>But if she weren't available, you'd want a doctor. Perhaps the doctor who invented the the Heimlich maneuver? </p><p>Well, this best-case scenario (sans beloved '90s film character) happened to one woman in Ohio. <strong>And that unbelievable twist of fate probably saved her life. </strong></p><h2>The man behind the maneuver is Dr. Henry Heimlich, a 96-year-old retired surgeon residing in Ohio. <br></h2><p>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. </p><p>"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. </p><p>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. </p><p>Heimlich demonstrated the bear-hug, upward-thrusting motion on volunteers across the country. And while <a href="http://archive.boston.com/lifestyle/health/blogs/daily-dose/2014/02/07/heimlich-final-maneuver-detailing-his-controversial-life/a2Dke0gDf7aHrntGPD7aTO/blog.html" target="_blank">some of his career has been controversial,</a> Heimlich's namesake maneuver is taught in basic first aid courses and has saved countless lives. <br></p><p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTUyMTIzOC9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMzQyNDAzNn0.d0w6bIfWpIhTkvN2FKJ_U6dUzL-yrX8VMomANtmTcpw/img.gif?width=980" id="b0a98" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="474b73a62ea12216fd180f01ad7fd6bd" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"></p><p class="image-caption">GIF via <a class="spf-link branded-page-header-title-link yt-uix-sessionlink" data-sessionlink="ei=TJJIV-PHMIPY-gODzZS4CQ" dir="ltr" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VILutezVVYQ" target="_blank" title="BJC St. Charles County">BJC St. Charles County</a>/YouTube. </p><h2>Though the maneuver bears his name, Heimlich had never performed it on someone choking — until this week. </h2><p>The maître d’ at Deupree House, the senior living facility where Heimlich resides, heard <a href="http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2016/05/26/henry-heimlich-finally-uses-famed-maneuver/85003350/" target="_blank">87-year-old resident Patty Ris</a> choking. Trained in the procedure, he rushed to the woman's aid. When he arrived, he saw Dr. Heimlich already in position. </p><p><strong>Heimlich performed his namesake maneuver and a piece of hamburger<strong> almost immediately</strong> dislodged from Ris' throat.</strong> The dinner service resumed without incident. </p><p>"I used it, and she recovered quickly,” Heimlich <a href="http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2016/05/26/henry-heimlich-finally-uses-famed-maneuver/85003350/" target="_blank">told The Cincinnati Enquirer.</a> “It made me appreciate how wonderful it has been to be able to save all those lives.”</p><p><img class="tweet-placeholder" data-content="96-year-old Heimlich uses namesake maneuver on choking woman - https://t.co/UblgvtgmuR #LiveOnK2 pic.twitter.com/6vZojNDyhg— KATU News (@KATUNews) May 27, 2016" data-tweet="https://twitter.com/KATUNews/status/736251955392155648" src="/assets/tweet-placeholder.png"><span class="redactor-invisible-space"><br></span></p><h2>Choking remains a serious concern, especially among infants and the elderly. </h2><p>The curious nature of infants and toddlers puts them at <a href="http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/safety-at-home-choking.aspx" target="_blank">great risk for choking</a>, as nearly everything they touch ends up in their mouths. </p><p>And of the 4,864 people who died from choking in 2013, <a href="http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/safety-at-home-choking.aspx" target="_blank">57% were over the age of 75</a>. Having trouble swallowing, living alone, and even wearing dentures can increase the risk of a choking injury or death. </p><p><strong>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. </strong></p><p>(The Red Cross offers <a href="http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/cpr" target="_blank">basic training courses at more than 550 locations</a> and online through simulation courses if you're new to first aid or need a refresher.) </p><p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTUyMTIzOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MTMwMTI3MH0.u5sCvN4SJT8idJlvI-xV778cAGp39FepxERosNMslAU/img.jpg?width=980" id="a35f8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="972a71b64ec15a12f3f33167b160d452" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"><br></p><p class="image-caption">Photo by iStock. </p><h2>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. </h2><p><span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span></p>
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