Use of a Novel Portable Non-powered Suction Device in Patients With Oropharyngeal Dysphagia During a Choking Emergency
Choking remains a leading cause of accidental death and morbidity worldwide. Currently, there is no device to assist in the resuscitation of a choking victim when standard maneuvers fail. A novel portable non-powered suction device (LifeVac; LifeVac LLC, Nesconset, NY) has been developed and may have potential use in patients with oropharyngeal dysphagia who are at increased risk of choking. The device is FDA registered and distributed worldwide. This case series provides a summary of self-reported data regarding the use of the suction device in adult patients with oropharyngeal dysphagia during real-world choking emergencies recorded between January 2014 and July 2020. Over a 6-year monitoring period the device has been reported to be successful in the resuscitation of 38 out of 39 patients with oropharyngeal dysphagia during choking emergencies. Although the obstruction was removed with the device from the 39th patient, resuscitation was not successful and he succumbed to his injuries. This portable, non-powered suction device may be useful in resuscitating patients with oropharyngeal dysphagia who are choking. The reported cases describe successful use of the device in real-world settings with minimal risk. Resuscitating patients with oropharyngeal dysphagia using this device may be a viable option when abdominal thrusts or back blows fail to resolve a choking emergency.