Unlikely ideas to save lives: LifeVac
An anti-choking device
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.
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.