Dr. H. J. Heimlich Project: Steak Surprise

Earlier this year Cincinnati Reds rookie Todd Frazier received much media attention for a heroic save but all of the buzz had really nothing to do with baseball. Frazier was eating at a restaurant in Pittsburgh when another patron began to choke on a piece of steak. Other patrons attempted the Heimlich maneuver unsuccessfully when Frazier stepped in and, with two quick squeezes, dislodged the meat from the man’s throat.

A month later, Frazier was honored with a Save-A-Life Award by Dr. Heimlich on the field of the Great American Ballpark. Since he developed the technique in 1974 Dr. Heimlich has given out many of these awards and has kept records of thousands of people who were saved by the maneuver but when I spoke to him recently I got the impression that Frazier’s status as a celebrity, and the publicity this rescue brought to the dangers of choking made this rescue extra special. When asked about the Frazier’s heroism Dr. Heimlich was quoted by MLB reporter Will Frasure as saying “What he did, it’s amazing for the promotion of safety… From Todd’s actions, many people can hear about the maneuver and learn to properly use it in case a similar incident happened when they are in the vicinity.”

Do you know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver properly? If you’re in doubt check out this vintage Family Circle pull-out poster from the Heimlich Collection.

Photo courtesy of MLB.com

Frasure, Will, “Todd Frazier’s Heimlich honored by Dr. Heimlich himself” http://mlb.mlb.com/cutfour/article.jsp?content_id=33971538, accessed 8/2/2012

Sheldon, Mark, “Frazier in spotlight after saving choking victim” http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120530&content_id=32507446&notebook_id=32507450&vkey=notebook_cin&c_id=cin, accessed 8/2/2012

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