First Aid Treatment for Choking
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Yes. People who eat rapidly and those who talk with food in their mouth are much more likely to choke than who eat slowly and keep their mouths closed while chewing.
Are children particularly prone to choking?
Yes, because they do not observe the cautions described above. Also, they frequently put coins or other foreign bodies in their mouths.
Do elderly people have tendency toward choking on food?
Yes, because the swallowing mechanism in older people doesn’t often work as well as it does in younger people.
What normally prevents choking on food?
The epiglottis in the throat moves to close over the entrance to the trachea (windpipe) during the act of swallowing. This prevents liquids and solids from gaining access to the trachea, bronchial tubes, and lungs.
What are the common causes of the epiglottis not working during the swallowing process?
A sudden cough or sneeze may prevent the epiglottis from shutting off the trachea, thus allowing food or liquid to enter it.
Do most people recover spontaneously from choking?
Yes. In the great majority of instances they cough out the liquid or food that has “Gone down the wrong way”.
What first–aid measures should be given someone who is choking on food or some other ingested object?
Strenuous coughing should be encouraged. A few sharp slaps on the back of the chest may aid in the expulsion of the food. If the victim is a child, hold him upside down and give him a few sharp slaps on the back. If the obstructing object is not expelled, place an index finger in the back of the throat. This frequently dislodges the foreign body. If the above measures fail, the Heimlich maneuver should be carried out promptly. Time should not be wasted in repeating the above measures if they are not immediately successful.
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