Airway obstruction Question (kind of challenging?)?
I'm taking a first aid course and was wondering about a couple of questions that I would ask my instructor, but we're on vacation right now.
I've heard of two types of obstructions in the windpipe-partial obstruction where some air can get through and complete obstruction in which the person would be choking.
My two questions are this:
1.) Does the size of the object/food piece make a difference as to whether a windpipe is partially or completely obstructed? (Example: Is it more likely that a larger object/piece could cause a complete obstruction?)
2.) Now this one is more cause I'm getting scared! I chew my food well. Is it likely or possible for well chewed up food that one is chewing on with his/her teeth to just go to the back of the mouth and block the airway? (I'm referring to chewed food)
Your info is apprecated :)
I'm not sure of your age, but if you are an adult, look at your index finger, this will be about the approximate size of your "windpipe" or trachea. Look at various pieces of food and imagine how much of this food it would take to block the airway. Not very much, especially food that isn't chewed. Partially chewed meat is a problem, more people choke on meat than any other type of food. As for questions 2, keep chewing your food, take smaller bites and swallow normally. Where people get into trouble, is laughing while eating, drinking more alcohol etc. As you will learn in your class, a person who has a partial obstruction can still get enough air in to cough and clear the obstruction, leave them alone and watch them. They can become a completed obstruction and would require you to perform the Heimlich Maneuver to clear the airway for them. Good questions and good luck with class.
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