Ground Breaking Medical Device to Save a Childs’ Life!

Solent Medical Skills is a company that provides pre-hospital medical training. We also do event medical cover for things like music festivals and film sets, etc. We strive for excellence and care passionately about people, training them to save lives, as well as actually saving lives ourselves. 

 Whenever knowledge or technology moves forward, we want to be there to adapt our training and change with it. This applies both to underpinning clinical knowledge taught to learners and to the equipment we teach and actually use ourselves. There have been some much-needed advances in recent years, for example in how to treat catastrophic bleeding and the roll out of lightweight, easy-to-use automatic defibrillators in public spaces. As a result, survivability from trauma and cardiac arrest has increased significantly.

 Innovation is often born out of an obvious need and this is plainly seen in an exciting recent development of how to treat a choking person. Traditionally, we have treated these patients by encouraging coughing and repeating cycles of back slaps and abdominal thrusts. Ultimately, if this failed to help, we then performed CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). This has saved many lives, but has never been without risk. Back slaps, especially in the elderly, can cause trauma to frail bones. Abdominal thrusts increase the risk of stomach contents being forced into the lungs.

 A potentially game-changing new device has emerged on the market, one that could significantly reduce these risks and further improve the chances of surviving. The Dechoker is a device that fits over the mouth and nose and a series of pumps of its syringe-like handle causes a pressure reduction in the airway above any obstruction. This helps pull any foreign body towards the mouth, where it can be either spat out or removed with a finger. Our instructors show this European CE and American FDA approved Dechoker to courses and the feedback has been very positive, especially from those with responsibility for children. There are paediatric and adult versions and we can see these being in every defibrillator cabinet or response bag before long.

 Some of the hardest patients to treat when choking are those who are still alive and have collapsed unconscious on the floor - here the dechoker excels. You can continue to give the patient the best possible chance of survival in positions that were previously sub-optimal. It also allows a very small person or child to be able to save the life of a large adult, which in most circumstances was almost impossible. Another huge step forward is that the dechoker can enable self-rescue. If you were alone and no help was near, the device helps let you safely remove your own obstruction.

 Of course it has limitations, like it works best when the blockage is complete and it cannot help if a sharp object like a fish bone is lodged in the lining of the throat. Then again, in settings like nursing homes, where potential patients can be frail and easily hurt, the dechoker wins hands down. Broken ribs can happen during traditional choking rescue, especially  when there are other underlying conditions like osteo-perosis. Potentially, these fractures can damage lung tissue and can increase the risk of infection like pneumonia, an often debilitating and even fatal condition for the elderly.

Solent Medical Skills will be stocking dechokers for public sale from now on and we shall continue to support and promote genuine advances in medical equipment and  Well done Dechoker!

Martin Wyness Director
Solent Medical Skills
07809 150344
02380 323718
Registered office: 198 Shirley Road, Southampton, SO153FL