The lack of oxygen caused by choking can result in brain damage or death in four to six minutes. Unless immediate action is taken to open a completely obstructed airway, the chances for survival and complete recovery decrease rapidly. If the object can be removed quickly and breathing returns to normal, recovery should be complete.
Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American board of Surgery
REFERENCE: Centers for Disease Control. Choking Episodes Among Children.
Previous contributing Authors and Editors:
Author: Christopher J Bosche, MD, Consulting Staff, Department of Emergency Medicine, Saint Anthony's Medical Center.
Stephen J Vetrano, DO, EMT-B, Consulting Staff, Department of Emergency Medicine, Capital Health System;
Dave Miramontes, MD, Consulting Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, St Vincent's Medical Center;
Tara Shapiro, DO, Assistant Director of Emergency Medicine Residency Program, Clinical Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.
Editors: Scott H
Plantz, MD, FAAEM, Research Director, Assistant Professor, Department of
Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Francisco Talavera, PharmD,
PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor III, MD,
Vice-Chief, Compliance Officer, Attending Physician Emergency Medicine Residency, Department of Emergency Medicine, Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital, University of South Carolina.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/23/2014
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