NoVa parks authority teaches lifeguards discredited Heimlich maneuver (UPDATE: Authority discards Heimlich) by Tom Jackman, The Washington Post, June 3, 2011
...The list of experts who reject the Heimlich maneuver (for drowing rescue) is lengthy: The American Red Cross; the United States Lifesaving Association; the American Heart Association; the Institute of Medicine; the International Life Saving Federation and many experienced doctors and academics have strongly inveighed against doing "abdominal thrusts" for drowning victims.
...Dr. James Orlowski said he has documented nearly 40 cases where rescuers performing the Heimlich maneuver have caused complications for the victim. Orlowski is chief of pediatrics and pediatric intensive care at University Community Hospital in Tampa.
...One of the most vehement critics of the Heimlich maneuver for drowning victims is Peter Heimlich, Henry Heimlich's son. He has created a website which extensively documents his father's supposed missteps, including allegedly taking false credit for creating the Heimlich maneuver, and calls the use of the maneuver for drowning "a 30-year medical atrocity."
Heimlich said that the media "have incorrectly written that there's a "controversy" associated with the treatment. In fact, in the medical community, it's my father vs. everyone else. That's not a controversy, that's one celebrity doctor -- someone who hasn't worked in a hospital since 1976 and has no background in drowning except for his claims promoting the Heimlich maneuver -- making unsupported claims."
John Hunsucker: Still Making Waves With Controversial Lifeguard Classes by Richard Connelly, Houston Press, June 2, 2011
Heimlich, Dangerous? Experts discredit maneuver by Eric S. Peterson, Salt Lake City Weekly, June 22, 2011
Paso Robles water park lifeguards use discredited Heimlich maneuver by Karlee Prazak, CalCoast News, August 22, 2011
Dangerous Maneuvers by Kendra Kozen, Senior Editor, Aquatics International magazine, May 2012:
Chances are, you've heard of the Heimlich maneuver. Since Dr. Henry Heimlich first introduced it in 1974, the abdominal thrust technique known as the "Heimlich maneuver" has become part of the popular lexicon, synonymous with saving lives.
Science Fiction by Gary Thill, Editor in Chief, Aquatics International magazine, May 2012:
Today, it is widely recognized as part of appropriate protocol to save choking victims.
But aquatics professionals may have been hearing about the Heimlich in another context: drowning rescue. That's largely thanks to Henry Heimlich himself and one paragon of aquatics, Dr. John Hunsucker, founder of the National Aquatic Safety Co.
Recently, Hunsucker published data claiming that his protocols, which include the Heimlich, have shown dramatic results in saving drowning victims.
However, medical reports supporting use of the Heimlich on drowning victims is highly suspect. For years, a cadre of experts has refuted Heimlich's original claims that the technique should be used in drowning. Today, Dr. Heimlich's own son is perhaps his biggest critic. Peter Heimlich, along with his wife, Karen, has been investigating Dr. Heimlich's work since 2002. They have started a Website, medfraud.info, to bring to light what Peter calls his father's "dangerous, thoroughly discredited medical claims."
(There) are times when science must be paramount, particularly when going with our gut means using people as guinea pigs. That is essentially what (NASCO) has decided to do in its use of the Heimlich maneuver for drowning rescues.
Heimlich Maneuver for Drowning Victims: Progress in Ending It? by Richard Connelly, Houston Press, May 21, 2012
Now, (Peter Heimlich) reports, (Cincinnati's) Heimlich Institute "has finally quit circulating my father's dangerous, thoroughly-discredited medical claims."The institute's website has, he says, "deleted its main pages recommending the Heimlich maneuver as an effective treatment for drowning rescue...."As we reported, one of the leading proponents was John Hunsucker, a former UH professor who "owns and serves as president of the National Aquatic Safety Company, or NASCO, the third-largest lifeguard certification agency for water parks in the country, which he runs out of his house in Dickinson."
Waterpark Safetyby Brenda Flanagan, FOX-TV I-Team reporter, New York/New Jersey, July 10, 2012. (This is the first report in which the Heimlich Institute confirmed that the organization has ceased promoting the use of the Heimlich maneuver for drowning rescue.)
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