Prevention is better than any cure. And whilst DeChoker can be used to help in a choking emergency, if the need can be avoided in the first place this is clearly better for everyone.

In the current Care and Nursing Essentials Magazine (page 21) the team at DeChoker UK draw on their experience to offer a series of Tips on Reducing the risk of a choking incidents in the adult care sector

‘They grabbed it off another resident’s plate’

This is something that we hear quite often. A resident who is not allowed to eat toast, sausages, bread etc. has grabbed or was offered something from a neighbour’s plate. Consider who residents are seated beside if there is a potential for this to occur.

A relative gave them something.’

Another common reason given for a choking incident occurring is directly as a result of relative, either through ignorance or obstinance, giving a resident something to eat they brought in with them. It is worth repeatedly reminding relatives by whatever means the potential risk to the people they care about.

‘They didn’t have a high-risk diagnosis.’

The elderly are already at a significant risk of choking even without a diagnosis of something like Dysphagia which will regard them as high-risk. This can result in residents without a condition being regarded as low-risk or worse still no risk at all.

‘We couldn’t see they were choking’

The resident had their back to the room which meant carers couldn’t see they were choking. Everyone responds differently when they are choking, don’t assume they will make a commotion and try to attract attention.

We panicked

Plan what to do. You should already have a policy and procedure in place, make sure everyone knows what to do and when. Calling for medical assistance and ensuring lifts etc are on the ground floor is just as important when every second counts.

For more information on how DeChoker can help in a choking emergency click here.