Learn the Heimlich maneuver

My wife relayed a shocking story to me this week. A child in Hokkaido choked to death on a plum pit during school lunch. More shocking is that the teachers called “119” emergency services but were apparently told to just wait for the ambulance.

I’m sure everybody did his best to try to help the victim, but from the news story, it sounded like no one used the Heimlich maneuver, a simple technique to clear an obstructed airway.

I would urge everyone to learn it, especially those who work with vulnerable people such as children, the elderly, mentally retarded, etc., because you never know when you might need it. I have performed it successfully myself — twice.

john bednarik
soo, okayama

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.