Henry Heimlich, life-saving maneuver creator, dies at 96

His son, Phil, says he suffered a heart attack earlier in the week

In this Feb. 5, 2014 file photo, Dr. Henry Heimlich describes the maneuver he developed to help clear obstructions from the windpipes of choking victims, while being interviewed at his home in Cincinnati.
In this Feb. 5, 2014 file photo, Dr. Henry Heimlich describes the maneuver he developed to help clear obstructions from the windpipes of choking victims, while being interviewed at his home in Cincinnati (AP Photo/Al Behrman).

CINCINNATI (AP) – The surgeon who created the life-saving Heimlich maneuver for choking victims has died.

Dr. Henry Heimlich died early Saturday at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. He was 96. His son, Phil, says he suffered a heart attack earlier in the week.

Heimlich was director of surgery at Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati in 1974 when he devised the treatment for choking victims that made his name a household word.

Rescuers using the procedure abruptly squeeze a victim’s abdomen, pushing in and above the navel with the fist to create a flow of air from the lungs. That flow of air then can push objects out of the windpipe and prevent suffocation.

The Wilmington, Delaware, native estimated the maneuver had saved the lives of thousands of choking victims in the United States alone.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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