When someone is choking on food and turning blue, bystanders have to act quickly. The Heimlich maneuver has saved countless lives, but sometimes it just doesn’t work. The choice becomes either tracheotomy or death. Right effing now. And you can’t do a trach without a knife.
When Pauline Larwood started choking during a conference dinner in Bakersfield, CA on September 25th, she picked a good place to do it. She was surrounded by doctors and public health officials at The Mark restaurant, during a conference addressing fungal respiratory infections.
The Heimlich maneuver failed to dislodge the obstruction in her airway, and as she turned blue Dr. Royce Johnson called for a knife. Another doctor handed Johnson his EDC pocketknife, and Johnson quickly performed an emergency tracheotomy on the rapidly-fading Larwood.
Paramedics arrived quickly and took her to the hospital, where she is expected to make a full recovery. Even when surrounded by doctors, it’s a good thing she didn’t choke in New York or New Jersey: by the time someone retrieved a halfway-clean knife from the kitchen she could easily have died or suffered brain damage.
More details at ABC News.