Heimlich maneuver continues to save lives nearly 50 years later

Heather Darata

Heather Darata

Blast From The Past
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Dr. Henry Heimlich invented the Heimlich maneuver in 1974 to save lives during choking incidents. Watch the accompanying video to see Dr. Heimlich demonstrate his own maneuver to a classroom learning the innovative technique.

Its importance hasn't wavered. In 2016, Dr. Heimlich had the chance to save a life using his own technique at age 96.1 Nearly 50 years after it was invented, the Heimlich maneuver has saved tens of thousands of lives.

Dr. Jeff Clawson strongly believes in the technique. Dr. Heimlich was one of several notable guests at NAVIGATOR 1989 and the featured speaker at the conference then called the International Conference of Emergency Medical Dispatchers.2 The Medical Priority Dispatch System incorporates the Heimlich instructions on Protocol D: Choking (Conscious) – Adult/Child/Infant/Neonate for adults and children.


  1. Shortell D. “Henry Heimlich, 96, uses his maneuver to save woman.” CNN. 2016; May 27. https://www.cnn.com/2016/05/27/us/heimlich-inventor-uses-maneuver/index.html (accessed Sept. 25, 2023).
  2. Fraizer A. “Potato Danger.” Journal of Emergency Dispatch. 2017; July 17. https://www.iaedjournal.org/potato-danger (accessed Sept. 25, 2023).