Updated 11/09/2012 04:24 AM
Local Inventor's Heimlich Device Gets Some National Attention
The Heimlich Helper device, created by a local inventor, is now getting some national attention.
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Lou Karpel spent more than a decade working on the idea, consulting with doctors and experts. He recently died, but his family wanted to continue his dream of getting this device into all kinds of restaurants and homes.
"He was out with family and he choked on a piece of lettuce and he really became very frightened," said Lou's daughter Gale Karpel. "A relative saved his life using the Heimlich technique. My father talked a long time about how much he was worried about himself or someone else living alone and not having anyone to help."
The Heimlich Helper is a tool that you can easily use at home alone to give yourself the Heimlich maneuver. You can lean against the wall to use it, or prop it up on the table. It can also be used by a second person.
Lou recently died, but his family wanted to continue his dream of getting this device into all kinds of restaurants and homes.
"Lou always thought of it like a fire extinguisher," said Steve Scherer, Lou's son-in-law who also helped create its final design. "It has a bracket that you can hang it on the wall."
The Heimlich Helper was one of the products featured on the ABC show The Doctors on Thursday.
You can buy the device online for around $35.
Gale hopes her father, who worked so hard for this device to come to life, might be proud it's finally getting the attention he so wanted to see.
"I'm hoping to carry on his dream," she said. "He always talked about the fact that he probably wouldn't be around when it really became a success but he was bound and determined and I've been taking this ride with him."