Not all new Health Tech requires sensors, power sources, microcircuits, and smartphone apps. While devices that easily notch into the Internet of Things get most of the buzz lately, we also find devices that have no electronics at all. For example we recently wrote about the RevMedX XStat30 designed to stop blood flow by injecting tiny sponge-like particles directly into a bleeding wound. Another recent non-electronic device can save lives of people who are choking.
Choking is the fourth most common cause of accidental death in the United States, responsible for approximately 5,000 deaths per year, according to Dechoker, LLC. Choking is most common among the elderly, a fast-growing population segment. It is also terribly common with children, with a child death by choking every five days. Dechoker’s eponymous device, the Dechoker, is available in three sizes: for babies, for children, and for adults. Each costs $149, although the company has a sponsorship program by which sponsors can provide Dechokers by subscription monthly for donation to schools, hospitals, assisted living centers, day care centers, and any other place where people might be likely to choke.
The Dechoker has FDA clearance, according to the company, and is easy to use. The basic principle involved is suction. The Dechoker mask is placed over the nose and mouth of the victim, placingthe suction tube on top of the tongue. With a good seal, the device plunger is then pulled out with a smooth, quick motion. There are specific steps to take to for best results, but the basics are a firm seal (for better air pressure) and a quick pull on the plunger. Note that the Dechoker is not a substitute for the Heimlich Maneuver, but should be used as a second technique if the Heimlich Maneuver isn’t successful or can’t be used.
At $149 the Dechoker is an expensive bit of equipment for home and auto first aid kits, but it certainly bears consideration for available and use by trained personnel is restaurants, stores, schools, and other public places.