Recently, the acclaimed pediatric surgeon Dr. Saad held an interview with Medical Times Daily to discuss his experiences in his 40-year career. This pediatric surgeon took this opportunity to address one of the most common issues he came across in his career. Learn more about Dr. Saad Saad: https://www.crunchbase.com/person/dr-saad-saad and https://www.vitals.com/doctors/Dr_Saad_Saad.html
He pointed out choking in children to be a pretty common issue. The pediatric surgeon said that over his career, he had treated over 1000 children with choking complications. The most saddening thing to him was that some of these children were as young as six months old.
The leading causes of choking in children
According to this pediatric surgeon’s observations, batteries, peanuts, hotdogs and coins are among the leading causes of choking in children. Dr. Saad Saad said that batteries are a quite dangerous foreign object to be in the body of a child.
This because when a child swallows a battery, and it gets stuck in their esophagus (food pipe) or trachea (windpipe) it can easily leak acid. This acid is dangerous as it can corrode the lining of the esophagus or trachea leading to severe injuries. The pediatric surgeon said that all types of batteries should be safely kept out of children’s reach. Read more: Dr. Saad Saad Medical Missions | Chronicle Week and Life Lessons from Dr. Saad Saad, Pediatric Surgeon
Peanuts were another foreign object causing choking to children. Due to its small size, Dr. Saad said that smaller children especially those under the age of six were more likely to be choked by them. Its smaller size also made it easier for the peanut to block the child’s trachea rather than the esophagus which was very dangerous. If left unattended for long, this could easily cause suffocation and more major problems. Hot dogs and coins were also common, and this pediatric surgeon’s advice was to keep all of these foreign objects away from children.
First aid and remedy
Dr. Saad Saad said that first aid was very crucial in most instances of chocking. This is because some of the foreign objects in the esophagus and trachea can easily be removed through first aid. The pediatric surgeon said that for children under the age of six, patting their back while holding them upside down by their feet was the most appropriate first aid.
For older children and even adults, the Heimlich maneuver was the answer. Dr. Saad advised that in cases where first aid doesn’t work, the patient should be rushed to the emergency room immediately.