Heimlich training advised for eateries

restaurant

A coroner has urged anyone serving food to a member of the public should be trained in the Heimlich manoeuvre an emergency technique used to prevent a person choking when the airway becomes blocked by a piece of food or other object. The recommendadtion was made by West Galway Coroner Ciaran MacLoughlin after hearing that a car-park attendant choked and died while having lunch in a pub.  Joseph Folan, 64, ordered beef stew and a pint of Bulmers in the Westside Tavern in Galway City on February 11th. Bar manager Eileen Grealish served him food and recalled seeing him sitting at the bar, when she looked back she found him lying on the couch, she realised immediately that he needed medical attention and rang for an ambulance, despite efforts to resuscitate him, Mr.Folan was pronounced dead.
Pathologist Caroline Brodie told the inquest in Galway that while performing an autopsy she discovered that something had damaged Mr Folan’s windpipe.
A large pieceof food was removed from his airway. The cause of death was asphyxia due to obstruction of the airway, Dr Brodie said.
“I think it would be an appropriate recommendation that anybody serving food to a member of the public should be instructed in the use of the Heimlich Manoeuvre in order to dislodge food without delay,” said Dr MacLoughlin. “Over the years, a number of people have died while eating in similar circumstances.” Dr MacLoughlin returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence. Mick Treacy joins the Shaun Doherty Show to discuss.