Over the course of four months in Spain, The Dechoker anti-choking device successfully stopped 30 potentially fatal incidents, according to Spanish government officials. This brings the total number of documented life-saving Dechoker cases to 81, with 51 in Spain alone, where the device has been spreading in popularity.
Officials from a governmental social care agency called Agencia Madrileña de Atención Social (AMAS) reported that the recent life-saving incidents occurred in nursing homes and other centers the agency runs, involving 28 adults and two children.
In an article in Spanish health publication Con Salud, AMAS officials discussed The Dechoker’s advantages over the Heimlich maneuver, the traditional choice of what to do if someone is choking. That maneuver works best when the choking victim cooperates by standing and allowing someone to help. Many of the patients involved in the recent incidents, though, were unable to cooperate.
“For example, in people with dementia, the patient doesn’t collaborate,” said the AMAS medical assistance coordinator. “To the contrary, he gets excited and impedes the work of the therapist or person helping him out.”
The Dechoker, on the other hand, does not require the victim to cooperate, making it an ideal choice for choking incidents in elderly people and young children, who are at a high risk, as well as people with intellectual disabilities. To use The Dechoker, a person simply applies the plastic facemask over the victim’s mouth and nose and pulls back on the suction plunger, often clearing the airway within seconds.
Officials also said, “It works great for older adults and pregnant women in which the Heimlich maneuver poses a risk.”
The Dechoker has been growing in popularity in Spain in recent months. According to the article, in that country each year, 2,700 people die due to asphyxia caused by choking, with 1,900 of those incidents involving a foreign object getting stuck in the throat. That is a fatality rate of almost six people a day, and many of these documented cases occur in care facilities run by the AMAS, where groups of vulnerable patients are gathered.
In 2016, a strategic plan was developed to stem the tide of choking deaths in Spain, and The Dechoker has proved a key tool in that fight.
We here at Dechoker are thrilled that our life-saving device has been used to such outstanding success in Spain. If your family has members who might be at a high risk of choking, such as people with certain swallowing disorders, young children or older people, or if you have ever wondered how to help someone who is choking, we invite you to learn more about The Dechoker.
To read a translated version of the Con Salud article, click here.
Learn more about the Dechoker here.
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