Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Today the Canadian Red Cross made a major update in their choking rescue guidelines. Why are they acting like they're trying to keep it a secret from the media and the public?


Over the past couple of decades, if you came upon a choking child or adult, the Canadian Red Cross recommended that you perform a series of abdominal thrusts (aka the Heimlich maneuver).

As I reported in August (and today it became official), the CRC has updated its first aid training guidelines. They now recommend first performing a series of back blows. If that fails to remove the obstruction, rescuers are instructed to proceed with abdominal thrusts.

This information might make the difference between life and death or help prevent a choking victim from suffering brain damage.

But don't expect to read about it in the press or see the story on TV. The CRC wrote me that they have no intention of sending out a press release.

Here's another question. Five years ago, the American Red Cross made the same update. What took the CRC so long to catch up?

Conrad Sauvé (source)

I've sent multiple inquiries to CRC officials, including  Conrad SauvĂ©, who heads the organization. I can't get him or anyone else to answer those questions. (See below for the correspondence.)

So at the moment, it appears the only way the public is able to obtain this potentially lifesaving information is by paying for a CRC training class - $160 according to this website - or by reading The Sidebar

Another question, this one for readers.

Imagine you're a parent in, say, Nova Scotia and suddenly your child starts to choke. You rush to the CRC's website in search of help and frantically type "choking" into the search box. 

Click here for the results. As of today, the search brought up 64 documents including lots of press releases about CRC award presentations and how to sign up for first aid training classes.

But I couldn't locate instructions on how to respond to a choking emergency.

If anyone finds those, would you please e-mail me the link so I can share the information with the public?

my correspondence with the Canadian Red Cross re: 11/1/11 choking rescue guidelines update

This item has been updated with new images -- the original image links were defunct.