In our time developing and spreading the word about The Dechoker, our innovative first-aid device, we’ve learned a lot about the common standards of care for medical emergencies. Perhaps the biggest lesson? These standards can be pretty confusing.
Regulation varies widely across different areas and institutions, but still, common standards have emerged. Here, we take a closer look at the protocol forchoking first aid, in particular, and why we believe The Dechoker is on pace to become a game changer in emergency care.
The current accepted standard of care for choking is a combination of back slaps and abdominal thrusts, more commonly known as the Heimlich maneuver. First detailed by Dr. Henry Heimlich in 1974, the thrust maneuver was adopted by the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross by the mid-1980s, and the National Safety Council and National Institutes of Health later signed on, as well.
These groups continue to recommend the back slap-abdominal thrust combo now, and these guidelines have rippled down to various organizations nationwide. While there is no overarching regulator of first-aid care, many states, school districts, major public and private employers, and medical facilities have adopted these widely accepted standards. The FDA is not an arbiter of first-aid care, but it does weigh in when it finds certain foods, drugs or other devices may involve choking hazards.
Worldwide, regulations and guidelines vary even more, but the gist remains the same: Respected healthcare agencies tend to recommend back slaps and abdominal thrusts as the best available choking treatment.
We here at Dechoker headquarters aim to promote our new, easier alternative to choking first aid. The Dechoker is appropriate for toddlers, children and adults, it’s easy to use, and it comes with no risk of abdominal injury.
Our device is currently registered with the FDA and endorsed by numerous healthcare and emergency services providers in the United States. In the United Kingdom and Spain, caregivers have documented dozens of success cases in nursing homes and elsewhere, and The Dechoker recently received the Innovation Excellence Award at the UK’s Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo.
We recommend The Dechoker as an additional alternative to the older standards of care, not a replacement. We believe caregivers should have a variety of effective tools at their fingertips so they knowwhat to do if someone is choking.
Just as the defibrillator has popped up in recent years in every airport, mall and public space, emerging as a new standard for heart health emergencies, we believe The Dechoker may redefine choking first-aid treatment in years to come.
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