Choking hazards exist around us. While most cases are not alarming, there are times when it goes wrong and leads to life-threatening conditions. The good news is you can protect your loved ones in an emergency. Lifevac is an anti-choking device that saves lives.
Facts on Choking
Choking remains a serious problem in Australia, both in children and in aged care. Death from choking occur within minutes without intervention. The average response time for emergency medical services (EMS) is 7 minutes, and sadly, most of them cannot be on time.
Here are sobering facts on choking.
- It is the leading cause of death in children ages 1-14 (next to cancer and diseases of the nervous system).
- About 95% of deaths from choking happens at home
- 203 children were treated in hospitals due to choking incidents in 2019-2020. It shows a 17% increase from the previous years.
When choking happens, the Heimlich Maneuver is the undisputed gold standard in providing care. It is another name for abdominal thrusts where you lift the diaphragm and expel air from the person’s lungs. It is an attempt for the foreign object to be expelled. The idea of abdominal thrust is simple. However, there are special considerations when performing it to infants, unconscious persons, pregnant, and the disabled. Therefore, it is essential to learn the details and take an in-person first aid class if possible.
Aside from the Heimlich Maneuver, there is another way to manage choking.
There is an anti-choking device that has been on the market for a few years. This device is designed to be used to clear blockage or if the back slaps are proven unsuccessful. It can also be used on small children or yourself when using the right size face mask. Most importantly, this device is registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as medical devices.
Since they are relatively new, there is limited scientific evidence of these anti-choking devices. Despite being new, they have made headways within the medical community. Some can be found in public places, such as schools and nursing homes.
The LifeVac is an anti-choking device designed like a small plunger with a handle found on one end. Note that adult and pediatric face mask masks are provided separately from the device.
In a choking emergency, place the appropriate mask on the plunger. Put the device over the person’s mouth and pull the device to expel air on the sides. Lastly, pull up to create suction that helps remove the obstruction.
If you are the one choking, you can easily assemble the device to it on yourself.
When Old Meets New
With the use of the anti-choking device, give up to five chest blows and repeat the steps. If air did not expel the blockage, give another breath and check for signs of circulation.
For victims of any age range and conditions, perform abdominal thrusts until the object comes out or if the person becomes unconscious. When this happens, check the person’s mouth, and remove any foreign object in it. Give one rescue breath for small children – two for adults – and proceed with five chest compressions if air does not go in.
We never know when and where a choking emergency will happen. If it does and the Heimlich Maneuver seems to be insufficient, use an anti-choking device.
Consider purchasing a LifeVac or any similar devices for yourself and your loved ones. You can purchase one for your grandparents’ care home and even for your child’s daycare facility. Let everyone around you know about these devices and encourage them to take first aid training to know how to use them.