California doctor saves choking victim with knife and a straw

September 26, 2013

Dr. Royce JohnsonA Kern county doctor saved the life of a chocking victim by performing a life-saving tracheotomy in a Bakersfield restaurant on Monday evening. [BakersfieldCalifornian]

Kern Community College District board trustee Pauline Larwood was dining at The Mark restaurant with Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield and state Sen. Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield when she choked on a piece of meat.

After the Heimlich maneuver failed to open Larwood’s airway, her companions yelled for a doctor.

Dr. Royce Johnson, Kern Medical Center’s chief of infectious diseases, also attempted to clear the airway by performing the Heimlich maneuver, but failed. He then yelled for a knife and made an incision in Larwood’s throat

In town for a medical meeting, Dr. Paul Krogstad knelt next to Johnson, broke a pen like device in half, and then inserted the tube into Larwood who used it as a breathing device.

“He saved my life. I’m so thankful for that,” said Larwood, Kern County’s first female supervisor, to the Bakersfield Californian.


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Dr. Paul Krogstad must have “broke a pen like device in half, and then inserted the tube into” Larwood and not Dr. Johnson as the article suggests…

Outstanding! All’s well that ends well.

Nice to see a professional do the right thing without regard to potential liabilities; doing the right thing is just that, the right thing. I hope this doctor’s actions will serve as a reminder to all professionals to step in and do what needs to be done in an emergency situation. Thank you Dr. Krogstad.

In Bakersfield the Doc is a hero. In SLO he might get sued.

Take less and give more

Dr. Royce Johnson is a great guy and an excellent physician! He is the one who treated me and cured me of my valley fever many years ago. I remember once in his office him getting on the phone to my insurance company to advocate for me because they had “declared me cured”! Thank goodness he did not back down. He was always worth the drive to Bakersfield He is tops in his field.