• Oxford Hospital installs new equipment to prevent elderly choking deaths

    Oxford based St Luke’s Hospital have fitted new Airway Clearance Devices to their Latimer Road site as the charity extends patient services.

    St Luke’s provides adult post-operative rehabilitation, nursing, palliative and respite care, close to the centre of Oxford. In addition to providing on-site GP services, the registered charity is close to completing their new 20 bed extension which will see resident and patient services.

    On a daily basis the risk of choking can become a reality for many individuals, specialised diets and thickened fluids provide safety measures for some but the risks cannot be completely mitigated.

    Operations Direction at St Luke’s, Natalie Birks said ‘At St Luke’s we pride ourselves on training our staff in many areas to maintain a safe environment for residents, patients, visitors and staff alike. As part of this we are also passionate about implementing new technologies.‘ She added.

    St Luke's 20 bed extension
    St Luke’s 20 bed extension

    ‘When came across the Dechoker felt that it was something that could be an  important asset to aid in our maintenance of safety and mitigating the severity of the consequences that can occur from choking.’

    Choking kills in 10 minutes. with the elderly at significant risk due both to conditions associated with old age and the difficulties dealing with an incident when it occurs.

    Existing first aid for choking relies on the person to be standing up.’ Said Matt Oakley, CEO of Northampton based Dechoker UK who supplied the equipment and staff training. ‘One of the many benefits of Dechoker is that it can be used when the patient is sitting or lying down, significantly increasing the chance of survival.