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Heimlich maneuver saves congressman's life

Heimlich maneuver saves congressman's life
MGN Online
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Monday, June 17, 2013 - 3:41pm

A congressman from Texas had quite the scare after choking on a piece of popcorn the other day.

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, was eating Thursday at the Capitol Hill Club--a Republican hangout in Washington--when the popcorn became lodged in his throat, his spokeswoman, Shaylyn Hynes, confirmed Monday.

Not able to breathe, a fellow Republican congressman, Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon, and another stander-by tried to do the Heimlich maneuver but failed to dislodge the food stuck in his throat.

As first reported by National Review, the two called 9-1-1 and shouted for a doctor. That's when Republican aide Nick Muzin, a licensed physician, came over to help.

He was able to successfully administer the Heimlich a few times to nudge the popcorn out, allowing Poe began to begin coughing, witnesses said.

Hynes was not able to confirm exactly how long Poe, 64, was unable to breathe. Witnesses said the situation was looking serious, as the food was stuck for several minutes.

Hynes said Poe was "completely fine" after the incident and finished his dinner at the club. Laughing it off, Poe told her he started to choke after hearing the score of the Congressional baseball game that night, when Democrats bested Republicans, 22-0.

Muzin, the coalitions director for the House Republican Conference, got his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University and his law degree from Yale University. He formerly served as a health care policy adviser and chief of staff to Republican Tim Scott, who is now senator from South Carolina, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He still practices medicine in Charleston at a clinic that provides medical care to uninsured adults.

As for Poe, the congressman spent the weekend in Texas but returns to Washington Monday to vote, Hynes said.

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