DECHOKER, which has just received guidance approval from the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), is a manually operated device which can be used to remove obstructions during choking.
The device is designed to be simple and easy to use with minimal instruction. Measuring less than 30cm it is also easy to locate in event of an emergency.
Used in conjunction with existing first aid procedures, DECHOKER employs the familiar respiratory mask to cover the mouth, and a sealed cylinder to create a vacuum which draws the blockage from the airway allowing breathing to return to normal.
When a person is choking, the lack of oxygen is likely to cause brain damage within eight minutes and death is probable after 10 just minutes.
There were 246 fatalities in the UK in 2015 as a result of choking after a piece of food or other object became stuck in their throat, with 75% of these involving people aged over 60.
Charlton Grange Care Home in Middlesex was rated Inadequate by the CQC following an inspection in July with inspectors citing the risks of people choking in the home.
The report highlighted that staff at the home had not followed care plan guidance to ensure choking risks were minimised. One person at risk was observed eating alone while two other residents were observed trying to feed themselves in bed in an almost horizontal position.
To read the report click here.