Aspiration of a foreign body is a common hazard in infancy and childhood. In the last 6 years, there has been a great effort to educate the public concerning the prevention of choking due to accidental aspiration of foods or small objects by children. Concomitantly, there has been a campaign to teach the first aid measures essential for evaluation and treatment of choking.
Much of the existing data regarding treatment of the choking child is anecdotal. In 1981, the Committee on Accident and Poison Prevention of the American Academy of Pediatrics1 reviewed the available literature. The committee recommended that a foreign body in the upper airway be considered an immediate threat to life and that such a foreign body required urgent removal. In addition, the committee recognized the effectiveness of natural coughing and recommended that, if a choking child could breath and was able to speak and/or cough, all maneuvers were unnecessary and potentially dangerous. If the choking child could not breathe, cough, or make a sound, a series of back blows and chest thrusts was recommended. The committee recommendations resulted in a spirited controversy concerning the most effective management of the choking child.2-6
At the July 1985 National Conference on Standards and Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiac Care, the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and the American Red Cross convened a panel on Management of Foreign Body Airway Obstruction to review and revise the past recommendations.
- Copyright © 1988 by the American Academy of Pediatrics