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Anti-Choking Devices: What They Are and How They Work

December 31, 2019

Anti-Choking Devices: What They Are and How They Work

The abdominal thrust isn't the only way to help someone who's choking. Here's everything you need to know about what an anti-choking device is and how to use one.

The latest figures from the National Safety Council report that choking causes over 5,000 deaths per year, with thousands more landing in the hospital due to choking.

When you notice choking signs and a person starts choking, every second becomes a matter of life or death, and each move is crucial.

To improve your chances of saving a life (maybe even your own) you'll want to make sure you have reputable anti-choking devices on hand. But what exactly are these devices, and how do they work compared to older anti-choking methods?

For the answers to all of these questions and more, make sure to keep reading.

What Is an Anti-Choking Device?

An anti-choking device is a piece of medical equipment intended to clear the upper airway of blockage.

These devices are small enough to fit in most first aid kits, as well as counters, drawers, or even in the glove box of your vehicle. Because of their small nature, anti-choking devices are perfect for handheld use and can be utilized on and by anyone, regardless of age.

How Do These Devices Work?

While we hope you'll never need to use a device like the Dechoker, knowing how to operate such a device can save the life of a choking victim.

To begin, the device should create a seal around the victim's mouth and nose. This is vital, as it creates pressure and prevents the escape of air from the plunger.

Make sure the plunger is pressed all the way in.

Once a seal is created, the operator will simply pull back on the plunger. This should remove any debris obstructing the airway, allowing the passage of air back into the choking victim's throat.

Depending on the victim's weight or the size of the obstructing item, one push-pull rotation may not be enough. In this case, simply repeat the process until the obstruction is removed.

Why Use Anti-Choking Devices over Traditional Methods

There are already plenty of methods like the abdominal thrust maneuver or the finger sweep method that can help a person who is choking. So why are these devices a safer bet?

For one thing, the aforementioned methods aren't necessarily up to code. While they were the gold standard at the time choking prevention guidelines were written, it's been decades. Even so, the abdominal thrust isn't as effective as you may think.

Also, these methods can take a great deal of time to work. Every second that a choking victim can't breathe puts them one step closer to brain damage or death.

Finally, older anti-choking methods can lead to injury such as broken ribs. Worse, they may backfire and cause the debris to get lodged further in the victim's throat.

Keep Your Family Safe: Invest in an Anti-Choking Device

Choking can happen to anyone, even those you love. Having the right proven anti-choking devices on hand can help keep your loves ones safe and sound.

To learn more about the Dechoker, including how you can purchase one, check out our page on how the Dechoker works or learn about our story.

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