[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
February 14, 1977

A Simple Maneuver to Prevent Food-Choking

Author Affiliations

Emeritus Clinical Professor University of Illinois and Rush Medical College Chicago

JAMA. 1977;237(7):643. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270340029010

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


To the Editor.—  Dr Heimlich's maneuver to dislodge a food particle causing lethal choking is no doubt effective (234:398, 1975). However, Dr Visintine's article documents one of the dangers of the method (234:415, 1975).Before we could begin our surgical residency, Dr V. C. David required us to have three to six months of training in a contagious disease hospital. During the first three weeks of such training, I did 20 intubations for laryngeal diphtheria. As a result of this experience, it was obvious to me that fairly strong traction on the tongue will displace the larynx upward at least 2.5 cm (1 in). When the tongue is steadily pulled out, a finger of the other hand can easily reach the epiglottis.Several years ago, my 80-year-old dinner partner had a piece of meat impacted, obstructing his airway. He had not yet lost consciousness. He was instructed to raise his index