Ingestion – why is it so dangerous?

Ingestion - why is it so dangerous ?

Choking is not uncommon and can occur in both adults and children. However, it can be dangerous if foreign objects block the windpipe, leading to shortness of breath and, in the worst case, even suffocation. You can find out what to do if you swallow it here.

Why is swallowing so dangerous?

Foreign bodies in the trachea can block them, which can lead to shortness of breath and, in the worst case, to suffocation; liquids can run into the bronchi and alveoli and cause massive pneumonia there. Both of these consequences of aspiration can be fatal.

Swallowing a morsel that is too large can also have life-threatening consequences: The doctor speaks of the so-called bolus death, which occurs when a morsel of food that is too large (a bolus) gets stuck between the larynx and oesophagus and triggers a cardiac arrest.

 

What can you do?

 All of us are familiar with an immediate measure to prevent swallowing: You pat the affected person on the upper back and thus support the coughing mechanism, which pushes the swallowed object back up.

Even infants and toddlers can be helped with this method: Lay the infant face down on your thigh or forearm and gently pat his back. Minor children should lean forward strongly – this movement alone is usually enough to trigger a cough reflex.

What do you do if small parts are swallowed?

Waiting is a possible therapy option for objects swallowed in infancy. However, the swallowed foreign body must not be larger than 2 centimetres in diameter and have no sharp or pointed edges. Over a week, the foreign body will be excreted naturally.

If you are still determining the quality of the foreign body, consult your doctor. An X-ray can often clarify the foreign body’s size, location and material issues.

 

Secretly slope

If the swallowed foreign body severely impedes breathing, the affected person can become unconscious – now life-saving first aid measures are required. Call 911 and support the victim’s breathing by giving rescue breaths regularly until 911 arrives.

One drastic measure used when someone is choking is the Heimlich manoeuvre, in which both arms are grasped around the victim’s chest, and massive upward pressure is applied in sync with attempts to cough. This grip brings larger bites from the oesophagus and trachea back to the daylight but should only be performed by those trained in it because of the possible accompanying injuries.

Chronic swallowing disorders

Chronic swallowing disorders are often not only associated with pneumonia but also lead to the affected person eating and drinking less and less: he loses weight, and his nutritional status deteriorates. In specialized departments and clinics, examining precisely how food enters the trachea is possible. become

  • examine the various pharyngeal muscles
  • closely monitor the eating process
  • Deviations from the normal swallowing process were determined using endoscopy and contrast medium X-rays

Depending on the result, the diet is adapted to the patient’s specific problem; different swallowing techniques are tried with a different posture, or an attempt is made to restore the normal swallowing process using biofeedback methods, for example. The therapy usually has to be carried out for several months, but then an improvement can be achieved in over 60 per cent of those affected.

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