Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Oregon newspaper quotes me kicking the Red Cross for doing a lousy job

From It’s a life-saver: Two-step technique is recommended to help a choking person by Randi Bjornstad, Eugene (OR) Register-Guard, published a couple days ago:
It turns out that for at least five years, the Heimlich maneuver has been just the second part of the method the American Red Cross, and some other lifesaving organizations, want us all to use in trying to save each other from choking to death.
It also turns out that maybe the maneuver should have never been called the Heimlich in the first place, because there are those - including his own son, Peter Heimlich - who contend that Dr. Henry Heimlich took credit where it wasn’t due when it came to laying claim to the procedure.
Why the new-and-improved procedure hasn’t been more widely publicized, Peter Heimlich - who e-mailed Register-Guard sports reporter Adam Jude the same day of his Dec. 29 story on (University of Oregon football player Mark) Asper’s heroics - doesn’t know.
“Based on my experience, very few people, including medical professionals, are aware of the 2006 American Red Cross update,” Peter Heimlich, who lives in Atlanta, said in a subsequent e-mail message last week. “This was a major change in U.S. first-aid guidelines, but the Red Cross didn’t issue a press release so that the media could inform the public. I’ve asked Red Cross officials why they chose not to issue a press release, but I can’t get a straight answer.”
Ms. Bjornsted apparently didn't ask the Red Cross why they never issued a press release so that the public might be aware of this potentially lifesaving information.

Maybe another reporter will.

Click here for the Red Cross's media contacts.