The litchi season is currently at its peak and many of us almost never seem to get enough of it. But then, there is a danger associated to eating litchis- its seed can lead to choking if not eaten with care. What must one do if a person is choking after having eaten litchis or any other fruit having a seed that can pose a threat?
The pediatrician Faeza Soobadar explains that “if a foreign body finds itself in the respiratory tract instead of the digestive tract, it can block the breathing. A medical intervention is necessary then. But the time to get to the hospital is often too late. Hence the importance of training the public in first aid. “Many parents are aware of the dangers. But it is very difficult to prevent a drama with children. Knowing first aid techniques can be a valuable asset, “says pediatrician Radhika Beehuspoteea-Jagatsingh.
Dhiraz Dosieah, President of the Royal Life Saving Society, says that when a person is choking, he must stand in his back and lean forward by supporting his chest with one hand and lifting his head the other. This will allow the obstructing object the airways not to sink further into the trachea. Then, you have to give five slaps between the shoulder blades. Each slap has the purpose of causing a coughing movement that will help dislodge the object.
After each slap, observe whether the foreign body has been rejected or not. If this is the case, the person resumes breathing and coughs. If the object does not come out, place your arms around the upper part of the victim’s abdomen, always leaning forward. Then press one of your closed fists between the navel and the sternum. Press your fist firmly towards you and upwards, with the other hand. Repeat this gesture five times.
If the object still does not come out, repeat the five slaps on the back of the victim. If it still does not work, take the victim to the hospital as a matter of urgency.