Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Re: The Heimlich Manuever
Re: The Heimlich Manuever
Fri, 16 Apr 1999 13:58:07 -0400
Robert may be technically correct that neither the AHA nor the ARC teach
or recommend the use of the Heimlich manuever in conjunction with CPR
(except where the ability to breath air in is hampered even after a
head-tilt - at least that's how I've been taught) [Robert's second
point]. Dr. Heimlich's proposal would expedite things by 15 seconds.
But, separate with the good Doctor's perhaps problematic recommendations
regarding prophalactic use for asthma, his recommendations for drowning
cases is logical. If the lungs are filled with water, you'll be unable
to get the air flowing.
Before CPR, back in the stone-age, we were taught to do "Artificial
Respiration" with the victim laying on his/her stomach. (I'm looking at
MY 1944 Scout Field Book.) That was before the Heimlich manuever. The
process forced water out of the lungs through pressure to the trunk
(back) of the body. I suspect it was less effective than rescue
breathing in getting air back in.
It took quite a while for the AHA, the ARC, and BSA to accept
Dr.Heimlich's manuever after first proposed. Such is the nature of
bureaucracies. Perhaps BSA could conduct a "test" (obviously not double
blind) at Scout camp waterfronts this summer, half would use (for
emergencies) the currently recommended process, and at the other half,
the current process plus the Heimlich manuever. ;-)
Just because the process recommended may not be taught or supported by
the ARC or the AHA, however, does not make it "illeagle" (sic). Our
concern should be what is most efficacious. Yes, Robert's fear of
litigation may be a reality - but lawyers I've spoken with tell me that
virtually anyone can sue anybody over anything but the issue is the
likelihood of prevailing.
Robert M. Lewis wrote:
> Very interesteing. Currently though, neither of the certifing agencies in
> this country for CPR and First Aid (AHA and Amreican Red Cross) support his
> thoughts. The Heimlich Manuever is currently only to be used on a person
> that has an obstructed airway defined as follows:
> for concious: The person must not be able to pass any air on their own...
> they will be essentially silent.
> for unconcious: The rescuer is not able to get air into the lungs, ie. the
> chest does not rise when giving breaths.
> Some of what Dr. Heimlich suggests is currently in violation of the
> certifications handed out, and therefore illeagle and it is very possible
> to be sued and held liable.
> Robert M. Lewis
> ARC CPR & First Aid instructor