GiGadgets | GiGadgets | Unlikely ideas to save lives: LifeVac

Unlikely ideas to save lives: LifeVac
An anti-choking device
Jane Wise
By Jane Wise
Dec 30, 2017

Medical industry is always walled up by its extreme professionalism, for it's indeed a matter of human health, sometimes even life and death. But today we introduce two medical inventions, made by unlikely persons with unrelated fields of expertise, who may just bring significant changes to the existing medical practices.

Credit: Newsday

Arthur Lih, a Long Island resident who worked in transportation and logistics for over 33 years, decided to invent an apparatus, which later was named LifeVac, to help clear the airway of chocked patients. The inspiration first came from an unfortunate encounter, as he witnessed a helpless woman weeping over the passing of her 7 year-old son in hospital, who had a dislodged grape in his windpipe and the Heimlich Maneuver did not work. 

The theory is simple and clear: suction. Much like the plungers we use to clear clogged home sewer pipes, LifeVac is a non-powered portable suction apparatus to remove objects that obstruct airway. LifeVac first went on market in 2014.

Various EMS and school boards  have introduced this emergency anti-choking device to their daily operation and yielded successful lifesaving incidents. Yet skepticisms mounted, saying it was not properly tested or determined to be safe, which subsequently led to several rescue departments and Lindenhurst school district to pull the plug on LifeVac. Many doctors still choose to stand behind Lih and his invention, maintianing LifeVac an unsophisticated and less rigorous method in a time-sensitive emergency.  It has registered 10  saved lives according to the website.

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