This goes back a couple of months but it bugs me, so I'm documenting it.
On January 21, the Cincinnati Enquirer published IN-DEPTH: Red Cross' recommendations 'horrify' Heimlich, a front page report by staff reporter Cliff Radel about my father's displeasure with the American Red Cross (ARC) for downgrading the Heimlich maneuver to a secondary treatment response for choking. (The original version is archived, but click here to read it via USA Today.)
The ARC now recommends performing a series of backblows; if that fails to remove the obstruction, rescuers should then proceed with "abdominal thrusts."
Here's a clip from an accompanying video interview Radel conducted with my father:
"The Red Cross teaches not the Heimlich maneuver anymore. They call it the abdominal thrust. This is probably the most important thing I have to say. The Heimlich maneuver is putting your fist above the belly button -- you can even save yourself -- but below the rib cage and pressing inward and upward. And what that does is it pushes the diaphragm up which compresses the lung and causes a huge flow of air that we've measured, that simply carries the object out -- it can only go in one direction and it comes completely out. An abdominal thrust -- not only doesn't it save a life because it doesn't push the diaphragm up but it causes deathly injuries -- a ruptured liver or spleen or something of that nature. So it's extremely important that you do the Heimlich maneuver and not the abdominal thrust."
The day it appeared I e-mailed this question to Don Lauritzen, an ARC media rep:
Is there a difference between the "Heimlich maneuver" and abdominal thrusts as taught by the ARC?His reply?
No.So I e-mailed Radel and asked if the Enquirer intended to inform its readers he had provided a platform for the erroneous ramblings of an almost 93-year-old man who reportedly lives in a retirement community.
I also asked Radel why his article failed to inform readers that the ARC's "backblows-before-Heimlich" update happened in Spring 2006 and if he asked my father why he'd waited almost seven years to make a fuss.
In other words, why was Radel's front page story newsworthy?
|Randy Essex (source)|
Radel didn't reply, but I got this in a January 24 e-mail from Enquirer editor Randy Essex:
Cliff isn’t able to do further reporting to answer your questions; he needs to move on to other things.Essex also wrote me that he joined the Enquirer in June of last year, so he wasn't on board for Radel's previous rah-rah article that ran on April 12, 2012, Young students soon to become Heimlich Heroes.
Here's a fair question.
Why is the Enquirer -- the newspaper that in Spring 2003 ran front page articles exposing my father as a "liar and a thief" and for conducting medical atrocity experiments on Chinese AIDS patients -- now apparently trying to rehabilitate his reputation?
This item has been slightly updated.