5 Simple Ways to Help Prevent Choking Deaths

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Girl European appearance five years strangles herself hands on a gray background

March 28th is National Choking Awareness Day, making it a great time to spotlight this preventable silent killer. According to StatPearls, around 5,000 people die each year from choking, making it the fourth leading cause of unintentional death. Choking is the leading cause of infantile death and the fourth leading cause of death among preschool children. The good news is that there are things we can do to help reduce the risks and help save lives. 

“Over ten years ago, I encountered the tragic story of a mother losing her young son due to choking,” says LifeVac Founder and CEO Arthur Lih. “A father myself, I successfully developed a non-invasive upper airway clearing device intended to save as many lives as possible, and this year we are celebrating our tenth anniversary!”

The patented first-aid device can be used on children and adults, and it’s easy enough for anyone to use. Placed over the mouth of someone choking, it creates a seal. When the plunger is pushed in and then pulled, it makes a high-powered suction cup that vacuums out the obstruction. Over the last decade LifeVac has grown on a global scale and is available worldwide. With 5 peer reviewed journals and hundreds of lives already saved, with continued awareness, training and education LifeVac could save thousands of lives a year. 

As we approach, National Choking Awareness Day, here are 5 ways to help prevent choking deaths:

  • Know what to do. Choking is common, yet most people don’t give it a thought. The most important thing we can do is be prepared and know what to do if someone is choking. Being able to jump in and help them is crucial. Having a LifeVac in your car can even help save someone else’s life. 
  • Reduce risks as much as possible. The majority of choking deaths are of preschoolers and the elderly. Most adults who choke do so on hot dogs, grapes, and steak, while most children who choke do so on hot dogs, grapes, coins, and other small objects. Cut up food for both groups to reduce choking risks and ensure homes and preschools are child friendly, keeping coins and other small objects out of reach for infants and toddlers.
  • Remember that time is of the essence. When someone is choking, their brain is not getting the oxygen needed. Within merely four to six minutes without oxygen, the brain will begin dying. Meanwhile, the average emergency medical response time is eight minutes in most areas, while 14 minutes in rural areas. It’s crucial to know what to do without waiting for emergency medical help. 
  • Know the signs of choking. When someone is choking, they cannot breathe because the object is blocking their airway. They may not be able to breathe or talk at all or may only be able to do so partially. They may make wheezing or rattling sounds and seem to be in distress. If the person choking knows the international sign, they may put one or both hands over their neck to indicate to others that something is stuck.
  • Share the knowledge with others. Everyone needs to know how to reduce choking risks and what to do if someone is choking. The information should be shared with all family members, teachers, lunchroom workers, restaurant staff, etc. The more people who know what to do, the more we can reduce the number of deaths due to choking.

“Choking is something that can happen to anyone, so the more we can be prepared by having a LifeVac on hand, the more we can save lives,” added Lih. “If we all work together to raise awareness and become better prepared, we can help greatly reduce the number of deaths per year from choking.”

LifeVac is a choking rescue device that can be used anywhere and saves lives. The LifeVac kit is made in the USA and is available in a home and travel version. The home kit comes with a practice mask, child mask, adult mask, suction device, and easy instruction guide. The kit never expires, and the company replaces it if it’s ever used to save someone who is choking. The kits are ideal for homes, schools, airlines, airports, cafeterias, churches, police, Fire/EMS, medical facilities, restaurants, etc. They can be ordered online at: https://lifevac.net/

About LifeVac:

LifeVac is a patented, FDA registered lifesaving device designed to offer the simplest, safest method of aspirating a choking child or adult. Founder Arthur Lih created the apparatus in 2012 to increase the chances of survival rates in a choking emergency, and has successfully saved hundreds of lives and counting. One LifeVac kit covers adults and children, never expires, and includes a free replacement when used in a choking emergency. The Home kit comes fully equipped with an adult mask, a pediatric mask, and a practice mask. Purchase your Home Kit ($69.95) and Travel Kit ($69.95 or $49 with Home Kit purchase, Home and Travel Kit bundle ($118.95) atLifeVac.net, and watch the product demonstration videos or attend a FREE online how-to training so you are prepared in an emergency. Spread the word on Instagram @Life_Vac to help save lives.

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