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Food or small objects can cause choking if they get caught in your throat and block your airway. This keeps oxygen from getting to your lungs and brain. If your brain goes without oxygen for more than four minutes, you could have brain damage or die.

Young children are at an especially high risk of choking. They can choke on foods like hot dogs, nuts and grapes, and on small objects like toy pieces and coins. Keep hazards out of their reach and supervise them when they eat.

When someone is choking, quick action can be lifesaving. Learn how to do back blows, the Heimlich maneuver (abdominal thrusts), and CPR.

Symptoms of Choking

The following features are indicative of Choking:
  • inability to speak
  • ineffective coughing
  • noisy breathing
  • bluish skin color
  • difficulty breathing
  • loss of consciousness
It is possible that Choking shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Choking

The following are the most common causes of Choking:
  • respiratory diseases
  • laryngospasm
  • ingestion of foreign bodies
  • compression of the laryngopharynx

Risk Factors for Choking

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Choking:
  • mental illness
  • learning disabilities
  • psychiatric inpatients
  • poor eating habits

Prevention of Choking

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Choking. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • be cautious about the objects or foods that causes choking
  • stay away from objects that causes choking in the children younger than 4 years

Occurrence of Choking

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Choking cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Not common between 50K - 500K cases

Common Age Group

Choking can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Choking can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Choking

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Choking:
  • Chest X-ray and fluoroscopy: To evaluate the presence of foreign bodies aspiration
  • Bronchoscopy: To examine the airways

Doctor for Diagnosis of Choking

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Choking:
  • Pediatricians
  • Dentists
  • Otolaryngologist

Complications of Choking if untreated

Yes, Choking causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Choking is left untreated:
  • asphyxia
  • anoxia

Procedures for Treatment of Choking

The following procedures are used to treat Choking:
  • Laryngoscopy or bronchoscopy: Removal of the foreign object
  • Cricothyrotomy: Incision in a patient's neck to remove the foreign object

Self-care for Choking

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Choking:
  • Eat food carefully: Take cautious about the objects or foods that causes choking

Patient Support for Treatment of Choking

The following actions may help Choking patients:
  • Support the head and neck: Roll the person onto their back on a hard surface
  • Open the person's mouth with thumb and index finger and remove the foreign object

Time for Treatment of Choking

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Choking to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Within 1 day

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Choking.

Related Topics

Foreign Bodies
Choking - 6 learning sets

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