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Article
February 14, 1977

A Simple Maneuver to Prevent Food-Choking

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

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Abstract

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

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