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FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2014, file photo, Dr. Henry Heimlich holds his memoir prior to being interviewed at his home in Cincinnati. Heimlich, the surgeon who created the life-saving Heimlich maneuver for choking victims has died Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016, at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. He was 96. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)

The creator of the Heimlich maneuver died at age 96

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The surgeon who created the life-saving Heimlich (HEYEM'-lik) maneuver for choking victims has died.

Dr. Henry Heimlich died early Saturday at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. He was 96. His son, Phil, says he suffered a heart attack earlier in the week.

Heimlich was director of surgery at Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati in 1974 when he devised the treatment for choking victims that made his name a household word.

Rescuers using the procedure abruptly squeeze a victim's abdomen, pushing in and above the navel with the fist to create a flow of air from the lungs. That flow of air then can push objects out of the windpipe and prevent suffocation.

The Wilmington, Delaware, native estimated the maneuver had saved the lives of thousands of choking victims in the United States alone. 

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

How to Give the Heimlich Maneuver | First Aid Training

WATCH | How to do the Heimlich maneuver 

After the news broke, many online advocated for learning the life-saving maneuver. 

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