spongebob hemlichIn a story that truly can make you smile, AP news has reported that a 12 year old girl saved her friends life from recalling the Heimlich Maneuver technique as shown on SpongeBob. Miriam Starobin and Allyson Golden were just two 7th graders, laughing at a joke when Allyson started choking on her gum. “Her hands were around her throat and she’s turning purple and I’m going, ‘Oh my God,'” Miriam told ABC News. Remembering an episode of SpongeBob, she leaped into action and performed the Heimlich. Allyson is now fine, and both girls are happy.  But there is more to this story…

What has later been revealed from a Nickelodeon spokesperson is that there is actually no episode where SpongeBob performs the Heimlich! I’m sure they would have loved to say there was, and maybe in the future there will be. Miriam has gone on to say that while she’s also a fan of Grey’s Anatomy, it’s SpongeBob she channeled. The episode she recalled involves Squidward having a clarinet stuck in his throat, and SpongeBob pulling it out. “It didn’t exactly show the Heimlich maneuver, per se, but SpongeBob kicked Squidward in the stomach the same way you would put pressure with your hands,” Allyson said.

I think it’s …amusing, that the girl would credit SpongeBob over Grey’s Anatomy (maybe she was not eager to admit she watches that show, ha!). No doubt, people who watch shows that show techniques (like CPR, for instance) instinctively and unconsciously pick up the idea of how to perform it. I still think actual classes to be trained are important (in Girl Scouts I learned to always tilt the head back before breathing into someone’s mouth for CPR!) but keeping the memories in someone’s mind can be helped by medical shows. (I’d suggest Mercy over Grey’s Anatomy.)

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