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A hero's woe: rotator cuff tear after performing the Heimlich manoeuvre
  1. Joseph F Baker1,
  2. Hannan Mullet2
  1. 1Research Registrar Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Surgery Clinic, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Sports Surgery Clinic, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joseph F Baker, Research Registrar, Sports Surgery Clinic, Santry Demesne, Dublin 9, Ireland; joseph.f.baker{at}


The Heimlich manoeuvre is well recognised worldwide as an emergency technique to clear an obstructed airway. The potential for serious injury to the choking victim is also well reported. We report the first case of significant musculoskeletal injury suffered by a rescuer performing the Heimlich manoeuvre. He eventually made a full recovery from his injury. However, we need to be aware of the possibility of injury in the rescuer as well as the rescued.

  • Airway
  • musculoskeletal

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.