Magazine article USA TODAY

Heimlich Maneuver Works for Drowning Victims

Magazine article USA TODAY

Heimlich Maneuver Works for Drowning Victims

Article excerpt

At least 1,000 lives could be saved each year if more people knew the Heimlich maneuver wasn't just for saving choking victims. According to Henry J. Heimlich, president of the Heimlich Institute and inventor of the lifesaving technique, the maneuver can be used to save people from drowning, especially children. "The leading cause of accidental death among children under age four is drowning. Fortunately, it takes only a few minutes to do something about it."

The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that almost all such drowning deaths occur in home or apartment swimming pools where no lifeguard is on duty. Usually, the first people on the scene are parents or neighbors. When they arrive, they have only five minutes to respond before the child begins to die. "Using the Heimlich maneuver quickly clears the lungs of water and enables other lifesaving measures, such as mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, to work more effectively. In almost all cases, however, the victim begins breathing again as soon as the lungs are clear."

Saving a Drowning Victim

In a pool or shallow water:

1. …

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