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Old May 5th 04, 04:59 PM
Gerry Schwartz
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Default USLA - Heimlich Letters, Maneuver for Drowning Case Report Evidence

A recent exchange of letters between the medical advisor of the United
States Lifesaving Association (USLA) and Dr. Henry J. Heimlich has
been posted on the USLA website.

The March 31, 2004 letter to Dr. Heimlich requests specific
documentation for two medical case reports of alleged drowning rescues
which Heimlich published in American Lifeguard Magazine. The letter
requests any evidence to support Dr. Heimlich's version of events:
hospital reports, EMT run sheets, lifeguard reports, interviews with
victims and witnesses, etc.

Since 1974, despite widespread criticism from virtually ever expert in
the field, Dr. Heimlich has touted these same two cases as primary
evidence that the Heimlich maneuver should be used to rescue drowning
victims. Interestingly, both of the two alleged drowning cases
originated with medical doctors who had long-standing prior
relationships with Dr. Heimlich, a fact none of them have publicly
addressed. The doctors are Victor H. Esch of Potomac, MD, and Edward
A. Patrick of Union, KY.

Dr. Heimlich published the Esch & Patrick cases in peer-reviewed
journals (including JAMA) and presented them to national committees of
the Institute of Medicine in 1993 and to the American Heart
Association (AHA) in 1985. After that 1985 conference, apparently
based on no evidence except for these two cases, the AHA and American
Red Cross incorporated the Heimlich maneuver into national drowning
rescue protocols, as a secondary response if CPR fails.

In his April 19, 2004 response to the USLA request, Dr. Heimlich
claims he has no documentation of any kind for either case.

Both letters may be found at:

Or just click here for the pdf file:

For additional related documents:

Despite the lack of any medical evidence to support its use and the
fact that it has been shown to be dangerous, even lethal, the Heimlich
maneuver for drowning rescue continues to be promoted by the Heimlich
Institute (under the auspices of Deaconess Associations, Inc.,
Cincinnati) and remains in the drowning rescue protocols of the
American Red Cross:

Interested parties may wish to contact the Heimlich Institute,
Deaconess Associations, the American Red Cross, the United States
Lifesaving Association, or other organizations.


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