According to a 2021 peer-reviewed journal, the demographics most at risk for choking-related incidents are children between the ages of 1 and 3 years old and elderly adults who are 60 years old and older. In fact, choking is the leading cause of infantile death with food and toys being the most common objects that cause airway blockage. But the reality is that anyone from any age group could potentially choke on food. Over 5,000 choking deaths, of all ages, were reported in 2015. The LifeVac anti choking device was designed to be an emergency medical tool to be easy to use and reduce the number of deaths that result from choking.
Not everyone is properly trained to be able to administer the Heimlich Maneuver, and even so there are cases in which the practice is not recommended or unsuccessful. It is generally not recommended for children under 1 years of age. The force that is needed to perform the chest thrusts can cause more harm than good for such a small child. In fact, it is not uncommon for even adults to be left with broken ribs and bruised chests after being given the maneuver. It is also not easy to perform on someone who is much larger than you, or on yourself if you are choking with no one around to help.
While commonly performed today, the technique’s efficiency has been hotly debated in the medical community. According to the LifeVac company, the Heimlich Maneuver fails about 30% of the time it is used. The LifeVac choking aid is an alternative to the Heimlich and has gained lots of support in recent years. A quick Google search brings back a ton of positive feedback from mom-run blogs and nursing how-to videos. A successful usage of the Life Vac was even featured on an episode of Inside Edition this past November.
But mommy bloggers aren’t the only supporters of LifeVac. A 2017 study reviewed and published by the Annals of Emergency Medicine shares research in which the LiveVac choking device was used on a choking simulation doll. The results show that out of 500 trials the device was successful 100% of the time after 3 attempts to dislodge the dummy obstruction.
The LifeVac home kit includes one adult and one child-sized masks, as well as a practice mask so you can be prepared for emergencies. This device is the perfect addition to your home first aid kit, especially if you have young children, or care for an elderly or disabled individual who may be at higher risk for choking. The company recommends also having the Life Vac travel kit on hand for extra precaution. The travel kit comes with an additional travel case for easy stowage in your car or diaper bag.