Choking in this age group is a result of many reasons and mainly occurs in healthcare settings such as care homes, respite centres, nursing homes and domiciliary care.
The main reasons are neurological disorders, frailty and dysphagia. Neurological disorders are disorders that affect the brain as well as the nerves found throughout our body including the spinal cord.
Frailty is a major factor when assessing a choking situation. As we age, we lose bone mass and density, bones become brittle and may break more easily. Due to this someone who is 65 and older may not be able to receive the abdominal thrusts due to serious risk of braking bones, which they may not recover from. This means they can only receive back blows in a choking emergency drastically reducing the survival rate.
Dysphagia is the inability to swallow foods and liquids correctly or being unable to swallow at all, this affects 50 – 75% of nursing home patients. Dysphagia can develop for many reasons, the most known reason within the adult care sector is Neurological disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson ’s disease, Huntington ’s disease and Alzheimer ’s disease. There are over 600 neurological disorders that affect over 14.7 million people, equating to at least 1 in 6 people living with one or more neurological condition(s).
Being a wheelchair user poses another complication if someone begins to choke. They may not be able to be moved or the rescuer may not be able to place their arms around the large bulky wheelchair to deliver the abdominal thrusts.
What LifeVac is and how we lead the way.
The team at LifeVac Europe have now worked with and equipped over 4400 care and nursing homes across the UK from small independent care/nursing homes to the largest care home provider in the UK HC-One.
“During this privilege we have saved over 100 lives from choking to death when BLS has failed or cannot be performed. Casualties have been sitting (wheelchair users), standing and laying down”.
LifeVac is a portable non-invasive airway clearance device, with and patented one way valve and two sonic welded discs for interchangeable sized masks. This means when applied no air can be forced through the mask. But when pulled generates over 326 mm Hg of suction, safely and effectively removing the obstruction in the upper airway. Being non-invasive means there are no tubes that can become blocked and there is no risk of pushing the obstruction or tongue back in a panic situation.
In a recent UK independent peer reviewed medical publication, a randomised crossover trial was carried out in the medical school at the University of Warwick. In this trial LifeVac was compared to the abdominal thrusts and Dechoker for efficacy and usability. This was published in Resuscitation Plus Journal by Elsevier. The results spoke for themselves: LifeVac dislodged the FBAO 99% of the time, with 82% being dislodged in under a minute, Dechoker dislodged the FBAO 74% of the time, with 44% being dislodged in under a minute and Abdominal thrusts dislodged the FBAO 71% of the time, with 66% being dislodged in under a minute. Users also felt LifeVac was easier to use than Dechoker. The publication can be found here https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666520420300680#tbl0010
Every LifeVac comes with QR code linking every end user to a training video. We also replace every used LifeVac free of charge to help providers with cost.