We experienced a scary choking situation during our son’s second birthday party. We had a party at the park and had pizza delivered. A simple, fun, easy birthday party for an active little boy who only wanted to run around the playground anyway. It was perfect. Except when it wasn’t.
Somewhere toward the end of the party when most people had gone their separate ways but a few of us close friends were still hanging out and chatting, our kids playing, my kid decided he wanted some more of the pizza. So there he was sitting on a park bench eating a slice of pizza when he fell off. Just, fell back under the picnic table (he was sitting facing out). He started to cry then went silent.
Hubby was sitting on that same table, and I was a table away, so while I ran and pulled him out from the table just expecting to comfort him from his fall, hubby quickly realized he was choking and grabbed him from me. Our son was non-responsive, so Hubby immediately turned him over and whacked him on the back, and at that point, the food as dislodged and our son started to cry again.
Thanks to his quick reaction, everything was fine. This all happened in less than 10 seconds, so there were no lasting effects, but we were all rattled.
This post was sponsored by LifeVac. All opinions are my own.
I am not a health professional. I am a fellow mom wanting to share our experiences and raise awareness. This post is not meant to take the place of advice from your physician.
So when I recently heard about LifeVac, I felt compelled to learn more and share with my readers.
Choking Prevention Tips
Did you know that over 4,000 Americans die from choking each year? Of course, children and the elderly are at a higher risk.
Certain foods and items are most dangerous to children. These include round foods like hot dogs, grapes, and candies. Also, small toys, coins, buttons, and marbles. I made you this infographic for a visual list.
Children should not eat while running, playing, or riding in a car. But you know as well as I that an active little boy can’t sit still. He can jump and bounce in his seat and have a choking incident even while not actually playing or running.
That’s why I’m so intrigued by the LifeVac device and am thankful to now have one in my home.
Current Emergency Protocol for Choking
As presented by the American Red Cross this is the current emergency protocol for choking:
- Have someone call 9-1-1
- Give the choking person several sharp blows to the pack, between the shoulder blades
- The abdominal thrusts should be tried next, alternating with back blows
- If the person loses consciousness begin CPR
Why LifeVac and How does it work?
The vision of LifeVac came from a story that Arthur Lih, founder and CEO of LifeVac, heard of a woman in a hospital weeping following the death of her young son. The reason for his death was that a grape had become lodged in his windpipe and the Heimlich Maneuver did not work. Once he heard the story he set out to invent an apparatus that could clear an airway.
LifeVac is designed with a patented valve to prevent any air from exiting through the mask. This patented designed valve prevents air from pushing food or objects downward. This creates a one-way suction to remove the lodged food or object.
— LifeVac (@LifeVac) June 4, 2018
The American Journal of Emergency Medicine conducted a study on LifeVac and found that LifeVac removed a simulated food bolus from a test cadaver successfully 49/50 times on the first trial. The Journal deemed LifeVac to be a clinically effective alternative to the current emergency protocol for choking emergencies.
LifeVac is pretty straightforward to use: simply place the device and mask over the choking person’s nose and mouth, push handle to compress unit, and pull handle upwards to pull the item out of the person’s airway. Here’s a demo:
The LifeVac device has already been used to save 11 lives. It is a device that can be kept in schools, in vehicles, in the home. It is a device you hope to not need but will be thankful to have in an emergency. It can be used in children and adults. In fact, it can be used on yourself (which gives me peace of mind since I am often the only adult in the house).
It is always best to prepare just in case of an emergency. Check out LifeVac and order a device for your home. It is a decision you will not regret.
What are you doing to be prepared for a choking emergency?