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“What We’ve Learned So Far about Choking Prevention (a ”Be Smart, Don’t Choke” Team Round Table)”

Jeff Ludemann, Sophie Lachance, Juan Ospina, C. Anthony Hughes, Alok Sharma, Roy Hod, Xiaoya (“Sunny”) Wang, Carolina Grau


Objectives:   To review the management of pediatric upper aerodigestive foreign bodies and caustic ingestion (emphasizing primary and secondary prevention strategies)

Methods:  Each speaker will present an unusual and/or culturally significant case of laryngeal, bronchial or esophageal foreign body management; and also reflect on choking prevention efforts, outcomes and/or opportunities in his/her region of the world.  Review of Google analytics data (2013-2018).  Review of recent critical choking prevention research from Philadelphia and its practical implications.

Results:  In its first 5 years, was viewed by over 63,000 people (in 8 languages); despite this, children continue to suffer fatal and non-fatal choking injuries.  News reports regarding prevention of allergies (illustrated with images of peanuts), brightly-coloured detergent pods and the “baby-led weaning” movement are factors which have led to many recent choking injuries.

The ban on gel candies in Colombia was a clear victory for the Be Smart, Don’t Choke team. Recent scientific evidence suggests that parents should be informed that a teaspoon or more of honey should be swallowed immediately by children (over one year of age) who might have swallowed a disc battery – followed by urgent radiographic assessment.  This implies that homes and Emergency Departments should keep honey in supply.

Conclusions:  The “Be Smart, Don’t Choke” Team has learned that difficult cases of upper aerodigestive foreign body injury continue to occur; and that further collaborative educational efforts are needed to significantly reduce the morbidity and mortality rates from choking.  Strategies to disseminate to parents, students, foundations and especially to Health Care and Education professionals via teaching clinics, email, LinkedIn and other avenues will be reviewed.  Teaching about choking hazards and choking prevention with exhibits continues to show measurable benefit.

Learning Objectives

  1.  By the end of this Workshop, the learner will be able to identify several methods to minimize the extent of injury from certain upper aerodigestive foreign bodies.
  2.   By the end of this Workshop, the learner will be able to identify multiple educational strategies to help decrease the frequency of choking injuries in their region of the world.
  3.  By the end of this Workshop, the learner will gain an appreciation of teamwork in health advocacy; as well as pearls and pitfalls in developing health advocacy strategies.

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Scheduling Details

This 45 minute presentation is scheduled to take place on June 3, 2019 at 09:20 in the Hall C.

Authors' Contact Details

Corresponding Author: Dr. Jeff Ludemann

Senior Author: Dr. Jeff Ludemann

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