You Can Save a Life

A student practices the Heimlich Maneuver on a Hank Heimlich training doll. (L.E. Witcher Photography)

Cincinnati Reds fans can help the Heimlich Heroes program celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Heimlich Maneuver Reds home baseball games on June 7 and 8.

The Heimlich Heroes program teaches children ages seven and up how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver in order to save a person from choking to death.

Thoracic surgeon Dr. Henry Heimlich, 94, developed the maneuver in 1974, while he was director of surgery at Cincinnatis Jewish Hospital. The maneuver has saved countless thousands of people from choking deaths since then.

You can find us in the Fan Zone before and during the game both days. We are excited to host a table set up to inform baseball fans about the Heimlich Maneuver and the Heimlich Heroes program, said program manager Terri Huntington. We encourage fans to use the drop box which will be set up so we can hear your story. Dr. Heimlich is planning to make an appearance and well also have Hank and Heidi our specially designed training dolls on hand so visitors to the table can actually practice the maneuver and learn how to save a life. Practicing the maneuver on a doll helps people gain confidence to act if they should encounter this situation in real life.”

The June 7 and 8 Cincinnati Reds weekend is the perfect time to remind families nationwide of the importance of learning the Heimlich Maneuver and acting quickly in order to save a life. Reds third baseman Todd Frazier was recognized as a Heimlich Hero for administering the Heimlich Maneuver to a man choking on a piece of steak at a Pittsburgh restaurant two years ago.

About 5,000 people die from choking each year because those around them do not know what to do, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Summer time is picnic time, and the chance of choking on a piece of food when talking, laughing or playing is increased, said Huntington. Hot dogs and pieces of hard candy are common choking hazards. This is the simplest first aid action proven to prevent a choking death and this teaching is critical to young and old alike. Four minutes is all you have before lack of oxygen to the brain causes permanent injury or death.

Heimlich Heroes is expanding rapidly throughout the country in school systems, national youth clubs, and other health-conscious organizations.

In the past few months alone, the program has trained more than 1,100 children ages seven through 18 in nine different states. For more information about the Heimlich Heroes program, visit the website at:

Dr. Heimlich’s memoir, Heimlich’s Maneuvers: My Seventy Years of Lifesaving Innovation (Prometheus Books, 2014) describes how he came up with the Heimlich Maneuver and many other lifesaving innovations. It is available in bookstores and online.

Contact: Terri Huntington Email: thuntington(at)deaconess-cinti(dot)com Phone: (513) 559-2468

The Heimlich Heroes program is a Deaconess Associations, Inc. and Heimlich Institute initiative that teaches children ages seven and up how to become super heroes by learning to perform the Heimlich Maneuver correctly in order to save a life.

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