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
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
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
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."
Hunsucker: Still Making Waves With Controversial
Lifeguard Classes by Richard Connelly, Houston
Press, June 2, 2011
Dangerous? Experts discredit maneuver by
Eric S. Peterson, Salt Lake City Weekly, June 22, 2011
Robles water park lifeguards use discredited
Heimlich maneuver by Karlee Prazak, CalCoast
News, August 22, 2011
Maneuvers by Kendra Kozen, Senior Editor, Aquatics
International magazine, May 2012:
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.
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
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.
Maneuver for Drowning Victims: Progress in Ending It?
by Richard Connelly, Houston Press, May 21, 2012
Park Safety by
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.) 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."
lifeguards will no longer use Heimlich maneuver by
Mark Saal, Standard Examiner, Ogden, Utah, May 8, 2014
Beginning this year,
lifeguards at Lagoon-A-Beach will not use the
lower abdominal thrusts as a resuscitation
method, after the State of Utah determined the
technique didn't meet required standards.
last year, the Utah Department of Health denied
an application from the National Aquatic Safety
Company to continue to train and certify
lifeguards at two Utah parks -- Lagoon-A-Beach,
in Farmington, and Cowabunga Bay, in Draper.
NASCO agreed to exclude abdominal thrust
training for its Utah clients, the state again
Texas Lifeguards Are Still
Taught Potentially Harmful Technique by Craig Malisow, Houston
Press, May 28, 2014