Tuesday, January 14, 2014

UK pooch challenges U.S. Surgeon General's choking rescue recommendations!


Via the June 18, 2013 Houston Chronicle
There has been an ongoing debate about the Heimlich maneuver and whether or not it is the most effective method. In 1985, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop said, “Millions of Americans have been taught to treat persons who are choking with back blows, chest thrusts and abdominal thrusts. Now, they must be advised…and I ask for the participation of the Red Cross, the American Heart Association and public health authorities everywhere…that these methods are hazardous, even lethal.”
The American Heart Association and American Red Cross criticized Dr. Koop, but later followed suggested guidelines by only teaching the Heimlich. In 2005, the AHA and ARC changed their position by stating that “back blows, abdominal thrusts and chest compressions are equally effective” treatments for responding to a choking emergency.
Via a February 21, 2007 Creators Syndicate column by Lenore Skenazy: 
What most people don't realize, Dr. Heimlich's son, Peter Heimlich, said, is that "Koop was an old friend of my father's, and he did it as a buddy favor."

Lesley Hailwood and Nell (source)

Now a four-legged medical researcher named Nell (pictured above) has entered the debate to further challenge the late Dr. Koop's findings.

Via a report yesterday in the Liverpool Echo, here's how Lesley Hailwood described what happened after she started choking on a piece of chocolate:

After reading about this possible medical landmark, I contacted my friend, Charles W. Guildner MD of Everett, Washington.

Charles W. Guildner MD, July 2011; click here for contact his info

As Sidebar readers know, Dr. Guildner conducted a research study published in the September 1976 Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians (JACEP).

His results?

Chest thrusts were more effective than abdominal thrusts ("the Heimlich").

Per a 2007 Seattle Public Radio report, my father than tried to ruin him.
GUILDNER: "It's so repugnant to me the way Dr. Heimlich has bullied...He's a bully and he has bullied people into submission."
Long retired from medicine, Dr. Guildner is now a prominent fine-art photographer and teaches photography at the college level.

He's also a wry observer of the human condition, so who better to ask for a reaction comment about Nell's dramatic chest thrust rescue?

After I sent him the Liverpool article, here's what came back:
Yes, amazing isn't it? I have been training dogs to do this for many years. While in training the dogs act as though, yes, isn't it obvious that applying chest pressure is the logical thing to do?

Sometimes, dogs are a lot smarter than some people!
Sometimes even smarter than a Surgeon General.