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Edward A Patrick

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 11 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1314
  1. Jeanne Lenzer

    Championed the Heimlich manoeuvre, in a life embroiled with scandal

    Much of Edward A Patrick’s life is shrouded in mystery, his actual accomplishments clouded by his tendency to bend and invent the facts of his life. Patrick claimed that he was the co-developer of the Heimlich manoeuvre, which he referred to as the “Patrick-Heimlich manoeuvre.” For nearly 30 years, his career was intimately tied to the equally puzzling career of Henry Heimlich, once dubbed the “most famous physician in the world” for the life saving manoeuvre named after him. The two men worked tirelessly together, promoting the manoeuvre and later working on a cure for AIDS—a “cure” that was denounced by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. In recent years both doctors were implicated in a scandal about Patrick’s medical credentials.

    Born in Wheeling, West Virginia, on 7 October 1937, Patrick had a lifelong fascination with technology. As a teenager he became a licensed amateur radio operator and reportedly built a working x ray machine. He attended the Naval Academy in Annapolis from June 1956 to February 1957, when his resignation was accepted. He earned degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—BS in 1960 and MS in 1962. He earned a PhD in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1966 and in 1974 he received his MD from Indiana University.

    Patrick used his engineering and medical degrees to …

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