USF professor fights Heimlich maneuvers use in drowning
The Heimlich Institute has stopped advocating on their website for the Heimlich maneuver to be used as a first aid measure for drowning victims.
But while the removal of information on the Heimlich maneuver and drowning is a victory of sorts for Peter Heimlich, the son of Dr. Henry Heimlich, who discovered the famous maneuver, and James Orlowski, a USF clinical professor who has worked to show the dangers of performing the Heimlich maneuver on drowning victims, the Heimlich Institute said they have not changed their stance on the maneuvers importance.
Patrick Ward, executive director of Deaconess Associations, the parent company of the Heimlich Institute, said the Institute doesnt take a position on the Heimlich maneuver for drowning. The Institutes main function, he said, is teaching the Heimlich maneuver for choking.
Weve cleaned out a lot of stuff on that site because all were going to do is focus on the (education initiatives), he said. Were not talking about anything else.
But Peter Heimlich, whose website has long been dedicated to disproving his fathers theory in relation to drowning and called his fathers work on the subject dangerous quackery, said the removal of the information had more significance. It happened shortly after he sent an email to Ward and the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
I expressed my concern that the Institute was putting the public at risk by promoting my fathers crackpot medical claims, he said. The next day I visited the website and discovered that dozens of pages had been scrubbed. Virtually every mention of drown-ing, asthma and cystic fibrosis had disappeared.
Though the Institute did not acknowledge the email as the reason behind the website changes, Heimlich and Orlowski consider the institutes dismissal of the Heimlich maneuver for drowning as an important step in making it completely obsolete.
They finally stopped pushing it, Orlowski said. For years, Heimlich used his institute to push his maneuver, especially to lifeguards and lifesavers, despite the scientific evidence.
Orlowski initially came across Henry Heimlichs article explaining the scientific rationale of the Heimlich maneuver for drowning more than thirty years ago.
Orlowski said the original premise of using the Heimlich maneuver as a first aid technique for drowning victims is that it would get water out of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system.
But, he said, water doesnt get into or block the airway of a drowning victim.
The entire explanation that he gave was scientifically unsound and illogical, he said. Waters quickly absorbed from the airway into the bloodstream, he said. You dont have water obstructing the airway at all.
Orlowski published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association in the late 1980s about how using the Heimlich maneuver for drowning hurt a particular victim at a hospital where he was practicing.
The lifeguard had done the Heimlich maneuver, which had caused the child to vomit a large amount, and the child ended up aspirating that vomit into his lungs, he said. He then ended up with very severe lung injury, which complicated the entire resuscitation in intensive care. He ended up severely brain damaged and actually died about six or seven years later.
Orlowski has since spoken on numerous occasions and written several scientific articles about drowning and how the Heimlich maneuver is not appropriate as a life-saving measure.
Peter Heimlich, who heard of Orlowski through reading his work in journals, cited 40 other cases Orlowski documented where outcomes for drowning victims became worse after the Heimlich maneuver was performed on them, occasionally including death.
But Ward said the organizations primary focus was not the advocacy of the Heimlich maneuver for drowning, but rather to educate elementary school students.
Our main focus is not on anything but the Heimlich Heroes, he said. Weve been developing that program for about two years and it kicked off this spring. It doesnt relate to drowning or anything else. Its just straight Heimlich maneuver.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
More usforacle News Articles
Recent usforacle News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR USFORACLE
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST USFORACLE NEWS
- AAC Player of the Year removed from USF softball
- Ethics committee opens investigation of SG president
- Student bands get chance for the big stage
- First all-ticket presidential debate brings calls for change
- The threat of empty promises
- Bulls enter critical final stretch
- Tampa design firm urges city to play
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Protecting Seniors Online from Scams, Hacks and Tax Fraud
- Rehydrating for Optimal Health
- Five Reasons You Need Cell Phone Insurance Now
- The One Super Bowl Fact You Still May Not Know
- Companies Are Discovering That Pittsburgh Is Good for...
- Millennials Go House Hunting, and Here's What They Crave
- Estate Plans: You're Not Doing Anyone a Favor by Avoiding...
- What Would You Have to Give Up to Pay for An Unexpected...
- Four Tips to Keep Your Kids' Teeth Healthy And Clean
- Local Community Newspapers Go Digital
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- N. American Effie Awards Announces 2017 Collegiate Effie Competition
- Students Increasingly Turn To GoFundMe To Pay For College
- O2 BARS: LATEST RAGE AT COLLEGE DE-STRESS, SOCIAL, & WELLNESS EVENTS
- Deadline Approaching for Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants
- ESA Foundation launches 2017-18 Scholarship Program