Heimlich uses the Heimlich, saves choking woman

Dr. Henry Heimlich shows off his holds his memoirs in a 2014 photo. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

CINCINNATI (AP) – Dr. Henry Heimlich invented the lifesaving Heimlich maneuver in the 1970s but the 96-year-old retired chest surgeon had never used it on an actual choking victim until this week when he rushed to the aid of a woman who was choking on a piece of hamburger in the dining room of the senior living center where he lives.

Heimlich told The Cincinnati Enquirer in an interview Thursday he has demonstrated the well-known maneuver many times through the years but had never before used it on a person who was choking.

An employee at the Deupree House in Cincinnati said Heimlich was in the dining room May 23 when an 87-year-old woman began choking. The employee said Heimlich dislodged the food from the woman’s airway and she quickly recovered.

“When I used it, and she recovered quickly,” Heimlich said, “it made me appreciate how wonderful it has been to be able to save all those lives.”