A well rehearsed plan of action helped staff prevent a care home resident in their 90s from choking to death on yoghurt. Carers at the Essex based provider knew exactly what to do when the lunchtime incident occurred.
Recognising the significantly increased risk of choking to the elderly, all staff had only recently undertaken refresher training on the use of Dechoker using the CPD certified eLearning course.
As well as knowing both how and when to use the life-saving device, care staff have a well practised and thought out response to a resident experiencing a choking incident.
In this instance the resident began to choke on yoghurt, which despite being a ‘soft’ food and as such regarded as a lower risk, could be just as harmful to an elderly cohort.
In a review of deaths from resulting from an obstructed airway where food was the cause, researchers found that in those aged over 65 soft-foods accounted for over 60% of deaths.
As well as presenting an increased risk of choking, the elderly and infirm often present an increased challenge when needing to deliver choking Basic Life Support (BLS).
There is an obvious benefit to knowing how to respond when a choking incident happens, not afterwards.