Almost everyone has heard of the Heimlich maneuver, the choking first-aid treatment that involves wrapping your arms around a choking victim and thrusting hard into his or her abdomen. But did you know that is only half of the recommended emergency treatment? There’s actually another component known as back slaps that plays a critical role in restoring a person’s breathing.
Back slaps are recommended by the American Red Cross, first responder groups, doctors and medical organizations around the world as a companion treatment to the Heimlich maneuver. Here’s how the combo treatment works:
The Red Cross recommends a “five-and-five” approach, alternating between five abdominal thrusts and five back blows until the object is clear of the airway.
These traditional first-aid treatments have proven fairly effective for many years, but deaths do still occur. Additionally, the treatments come with a risk of injury, and their invasive and somewhat jarring nature can make bystanders reluctant to attempt them. For these reasons, we recommend our innovative anti-choking device, The Dechoker, as an alternative.
The Dechoker comes with no risk of injury and is extremely easy to use, so much so that most adults could even use it on themselves. Simply apply the face mask over the nose and mouth of the choking victim, and pull back on the plunger. This creates suction, often clearing the airway within seconds.
We recommend The Dechoker not as a replacement for traditional treatments such as back slaps but as an alternative that’s available should those treatments fail. We believe caregivers, first responders and families should have every possible tool at their fingertips in a choking emergency. Learn more about how The Dechoker works here.
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