Instructor Nearly Becomes Choking Victim
If you're like me, good food can lead to dangerous situations. I can’t count how many times I've been diving into a juicy burger, and before I know it, I’m choking. I'll admit it. I eat way too fast. At least in the story we’re about to hear from EMS Safety Instructor, Perry Churchill, he was eating a much healthier meal! Perry was having dinner with his girlfriend, who he had taught in first aid and CPR. Little did he know then, doing so may have saved his life! Here's the story just as Perry told me:
So there I was, minding my own business eating chicken and corn mixed with brussels sprouts in my living room sitting next to my girlfriend. I took a big spoonful of the corn/sprouts mixture, and I guess I inhaled. The next thing I knew I was choking. I was trying to cough. Trying to bring it up. Anything! But it wasn't going well. I had no air exchange. My girlfriend asked if I was okay but I couldn't answer. All I could do was shake my head, no. I was unable to breath.
I stood up the same time she did and put my back towards her. She positioned herself behind me and started to perform abdominal thrusts (the Heimlich maneuver) on me. She performed a total of 6 or 7 thrusts before I was able to start coughing and getting some air exchange and clear my throat.
That was too close for comfort. Actually, when my airway closed, my first thought was I have been in trauma twice and lived. I thought 'I am going to die choking on corn and brussels sprouts.' I trained her in first aid/CPR/AED a couple of years ago. I guess it paid off. the rest of the night I was coughing from the itchy throat and this morning still had a sore throat. But I woke up this morning, which is always a good thing.
So there you have it. You never know when training someone will save a life, or better yet, your life! Eating is often a social situation: we have meals to celebrate promotions, as first dates, or even to catch up with old friends. It might seem silly to say, but it can be dangerous, especially when we're talking and eating at the same time. If you haven't done so yet, be sure to teach your friends and family CPR/AED and first aid.