Severe choking: back blows and abdominal thrusts
Perform abdominal thrusts up to 5 times, checking each time to see if the obstruction has cleared. Anyone who has received abdominal thrusts must be seen by a doctor. Finally, if the person is still choking, call 999 (or 112) and alternate five back blows and five abdominal thrusts until emergency help arrives.
If it turns out that your loved one does suffer from dysphagia, the following tips can help you to manage their condition effectively:
Reasons for Dysphagia and Choking on Water Poor oral health or poorly fitting dentures. Acid reflux. Side effects from certain medications. Stroke.
For oropharyngeal dysphagia, doctors will likely recommend a combination of exercises (designed to help re-coordinate muscles used during swallowing) and speech therapy. Esophageal dysphagia may be more involved. If there is a stricture, a doctor may need to dilate the esophagus in order to expand its width.
Older adults’ teeth are often weak or absent. The mucosal surfaces in the mouth and throat are less moist. There is a loss of muscle strength in the mouth and throat that slows swallowing and makes it difficult to swallow hard or dry solid foods.
Try to cough as forcefully as possible, like you do when you’re trying to hack up mucus when you’re sick. Don’t drink any water to try forcing the food down —that can actually make it worse, Dr. Bradley notes.
Environment: be sure eating area has adequate lighting and is free from distractions (e.g., television on) to enhance the senior’s focus on eating. Chew food well. Take small bites – Use smaller spoons to control portion size of each mouthful — only 1/2 to 1 teaspoon at a time.
Try canned fruit and cooked vegetables. Fruits or vegetables with tough skins or seeds such as pears, nectarines, apples, cherries, apricots, tomatoes, peas, corn, blackberries, raspberries. Try soft peeled, canned or strained fruit and cooked mashed vegetables.
The following general tips may help: Sit in an upright position when you eat or drink, if possible – this can make it easier to swallow. Keep your mouth clean – this can make it more comfortable to chew and less likely that you’ll get an infection. Having small, regular meals may help.
Common causes of choking include:
Don’t slap a choking person on the back while they are upright – gravity may cause the object to slip further down the trachea (windpipe). First aid for choking adults includes back blows and chest thrusts while the person is leaning forward.
Swallowing Strategies 11) Myth: People with dysphagia shouldn’t use straws. Truth: Straws propel fluids into the back of the mouth faster, so they sometimes cause problems for people with dysphagia. However, some people have trouble propelling the fluid backward, and a straw can make swallowing easier.
It is important to avoid other foods, including:
Try these Soft Food Ideas Acceptable items include yogurt, custard, pudding, cottage cheese (small curd), cream cheese, and ricotta cheese. Cheese is a great source of calories for an underweight senior, and can be added as a sauce to many dishes while avoiding hard pieces like cheese cubes or slices.