This Saturday’s Casualty, the BBC drama series about the staff and patients at Holby City Hospital’s emergency department, featured an incident where a patient began to choke whilst on a ward.
The female character, who was also pregnant was slipped a sweet by her daughter despite being Nil By Mouth and on the maternity ward. Whilst eating the sweet she began to fit and it became lodged in her airway.
The patient having lost consciousness, Nurse Tyler attempts to use tube suction which fails to remove the obstruction. With Drs and consultants unavailable she is forced to carry out a tracheotomy in order to prevent the patient choking to death.
This scenario, whilst admittedly on a TV drama, perfectly represent a scenario in which Dechoker can be useful both inside and outside of a hospital. With the patient being pregnant presents additional complications.
A relative passing food to a patient or resident that has been banned (for good reason) happens all too often, despite the best efforts of the care sector to prevent choking incidents occurring in the first place. Despite this, along with advice from the CQC, the development of thickeners and new food types, last year saw a rise in the number of care and nursing home choking deaths in the UK.
Tap to watch the Drama unfold from 25:22
Most people have car insurance, just in case something happens despite all of the precautions they may take. Care providers need to consider what happens when someone chokes and how they can deal with it.
Prevention can only go so far.