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Why don't we call abdominal thrusts the Heimlich manoeuvre anymore?

/media/firstaidtips/library/abdonimal-thrust.jpgFor many years the Heimlich manouvre was the only recommended action for a choking casualty. The American Red Cross taught this method for over 20 years and even today if you ask most people what the treatment for a choking casualty is they will reply: "the heimlich manouvre". 

It seems that the changes came in 2006 when the American Red Cross changed their guidelines. There are two conflicting stories why out there:

1) When the American Red Cross introduced back blows to its official guidelines on treating choking, Dr Heimlich disagreed that back blows should be used and asked that his name be removed from the guidelines. Leading to the renaming of the Heimlich manouvre as an Abdominal thrust.

2) Dr Heimlich produced controversial reports about the use of back blows being dangerous, some dicredited as lacking scientific evidence. Given the increasingly controversial nature of Dr Heimlich and some of his research the American Red Cross decided to rename the heimlich manoeuvre an abdominal thrust.

Treatment for Choking - UK Resuscitation Council Guidelines 2021


Myth Busting

Hitting someone on the back when they are choking severely might lodge the food more deeply and make the problem worse. FALSE!!

It seems that this was a myth perpetuated by Dr Heimlich himself in order to discredit back blows as a treatment for choking.

In fact back blows are a very effective treatment for dislodging food stuck in someone's trachea and it is much less violent than an abdominal thrust, which makes it the first thing to try!


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