Because we like ruining your fun

What is wrong with you news people? Do you have to take everything and put a negative spin on it? I read that nice story on Wednesday about how a young boy saved his friend with the Heimlich maneuver. Then on Saturday, you ran a negative story about how he shouldn't have done it. You ruin everything.

— Molly A., Cave Junction

Good golly, Miss Molly. We're getting all choked up here feelin' the love. Can we get a Heimlich? Anyone?

Seriously, we in no way meant to demean or diminish the efforts of young Dominic Ramos to save his pal, Harrison Weidman, from choking on an errant corn chip.

The main point of the article was to salute his quick-thinking heroism, and to show how much it resonated across America.

But in writing this heart-warmer, we stumbled across some additional information that the famed maneuver now is not necessarily the primary action one should take, should one see someone gagging and turning blue. We felt it was important for the public to know.

"Medicine does change," Mike Virgintino, spokesman for the American Red Cross in Greater New York, was quoted as saying in an editorial written in February by Lenore Skenazy of the New York Sun.

The new protocol, dubbed "Five-and-Five" — five back slaps first, then five abdominal thrusts — was adopted by the Red Cross a little more than a year ago, after a review of scientific literature on choking. "New lessons have been learned," Virgintino said.

Skenazy continued:

"What the Red Cross has learned about First Aid is that, despite all those Heimlich successes, back slaps are every bit as effective — and possibly easier to remember. The last thing the agency wants is for would-be rescuers to waste time wondering which method to try first, so it pretty much arbitrarily ordered the techniques one, two, and three (No. 3 is chest compressions)."

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