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  • Writer's pictureClarke Wallace

GETTING SERIOUS….THEN NOT

I’ve been intrigued for some time when I hear someone has saved someone else from choking by using the Heimlich method or ‘manoeuvre’ as it’s called.


A good friend actually, well probably, saved another’s life at a party by wrapping his arms close to the stomach, and giving her a pull upward. A chunk of meat flew out of her mouth, and she stopped gagging.


I’ve often wondered who Heimlich was, and the Globe and Mail has come to my rescue.

Back in 1974 Henry Heimlich started an experiment which involved an ‘endotracheal’ tube and four anesthetized Beagles. He described how he had a ‘eureka’ moment after inserting the tube into the dogs’ larynxes to simulate ‘a lodged piece of food’.


The dogs’ rigid rib cages meant lung compression wouldn’t expel the obstruction. But when he pushed the palm of his hand inward and upward against their diaphrams, the tubes popped out.


Dr. Heimlich put his manoeuvre to the test when he saved the life of fellow resident at his retirement home. Today, however, it seems his method isn’t the best approach. For a choking adult, the Canadian Red Cross recommends an alternate between two of the following methods: back blows, abdominal thrusts or chest thrusts – until the object comes out.  Hmmm.


I want to change gears here, or the subject, to mention something that bothers me, and maybe you too.


It’s how governments’ spoke persons throw stuff at you, and expect you to suck it up. Here’s an example: I discovered, offered in part by the Catholic School Teachers Association, and published under MYTH OR FACT.


MYTH: The Minister of Education stated that ‘by increasing class sizes in high school, we are preparing them (my parenthesis) for the reality of post-secondary, as well as the world of work. Oh yeah? Who dreamed up this one?


Author’s comment: FACT: We’re not that gullible! Increasing the class size will put an unnecessary burden on the teachers. How can the government come up with something so nutty? So corny? And expect us to take  seriously.

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